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Light of Hope 2014, dozens gather to commemorate foster kids - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Light of Hope 2014, dozens gather to commemorate foster kids and abuse victims

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SHREVEPORT, La. (KTBS) -

 

April is National Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month, and Monday afternoon the group Court Appointed Special Advocates met to commemorate these children with a Light of Hope ceremony.

CASA says nationwide more than 700,000 children are in foster care because of reported abuse or neglect. Last year, more than 600 were entered into foster care in Caddo Parish, and 43 children died from abuse or neglect in Louisiana. Today's ceremony encouraged society to help these children. One popular suggestion was to become a foster parent.

"I cannot imagine my life without my twins," Amanda Law, a foster parent, said. "They're the biggest blessing for my family. I would do it all over again."

Law and her husband took in their twins a few years ago and adopted them once the courts allowed. She says they still offer their home to the foster system. Some children aren't as lucky as her twins.

"I've seen children in six different homes in the period of two years," Vickie Record said.

She's a CASA volunteer coordinator in Caddo Parish. Record says the lack of a stable environment can be challenging for children. They misbehave and move around to different foster parents, but she says that shouldn't keep people from wanting to foster.

"Society should pay attention to this because these children are going to grown up to be adults," Record said. "They are going to grow up and be a part of your community, and we need to show them that people care for them and want them."

Record says you don't have to open your home to help. You can be a CASA volunteer and advocate for your area's foster children.

"Kids with a CASA kids are most of the time less likely to reenter foster care because you have an extra set of ears and eyes for that child to report back to the judge," Record said.

Record says CASA volunteers are needed right now in Caddo.

"We're in need of about 20 more," Record said. "We have children on a waiting list waiting for someone to speak up for them right now."

Record says the main goal is to get foster kids' parents in better shape to take care of their children, so they can return home. For more on how you can become a CASA volunteer, follow this link to their web site.

 

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