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CASA SHaW recognized as National Child Abuse Awareness Month is proclaimed in Warren County

Commissioners Cite Importance of Volunteers Assisting Youth

WARREN COUNTY, NJ – April is National Child Abuse Awareness Month, and the Warren County Board of County Commissioners are calling upon all county residents to do their part in preventing child abuse.

The Commissioners presented a proclamation recently to the organization Court Appointed Special Advocates for Somerset, Hunterdon and Warren Counties (CASA SHaW), which recruits, trains, supports and supervises community volunteers who serve as advocates for children who have been removed from their home due to neglect or abuse.

CASA SHaW volunteers ensure that a child’s best interests remain the priority while working toward establishing a safe, stable, and permanent home for each child, and they serve as the court’s eyes and ears in a child’s life.

“What CASA does is really amazing, because it helps these kids who are trying to navigate through the system,” County Commissioner Lori Ciesla noted as the commissioners presented the proclamation to CASA SHaW Executive Director Tracey Heisler.

“The court-appointed surrogate helps them get through this. When you see what your organization does for people, it moves you to tears,” Ciesla said.

“It’s so important we protect our youth and our children from abuse,” Commissioner Jason J. Sarnoski said, adding it is essential to have volunteers like those from CASA SHaW who are working help those who are victims of abuse.

“There’s so many different groups that do good work, hopefully we can get the message out there that you’re there to help,” Commissioner Director James R. Kern III told Heisler.

“Unfortunately, it’s a service that we wish didn’t have to exist, but it does exist and we’re grateful to have workers and volunteers like you also,” Kern said.

Heisler thanked the commissioners for their support, and said, “I started as a volunteer myself in 1999. My mom grew up in foster care and I saw firsthand the devastating effect of that on her. So when I heard about CASA as a volunteer experience, I thought that’s where I’m going to disrupt the cycle.”

“The number one predictor of kids coming out the other side of these experiences is having a caring, engaged and competent adult in their lives. So if you can be that person for one of these kids, I ask you do that,” Heisler said.

To learn more about CASA SHaW and find out how to become a volunteer visit casashaw.org.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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