A child holding out their hand with the word stop written over it to symbolize the end of child abuse in Springfield, IL.

What Experts Are Saying About Child Abuse Right Now

Child abuse and neglect are serious issues that can have long-lasting impacts on children’s mental, physical, and emotional well-being. Experts in the field of child welfare are continually researching and studying the effects of abuse and neglect on children and developing new ways to prevent and intervene in cases of child maltreatment. To make an impact on children in your community, it’s important to understand the statistics and current discussion on child abuse in Springfield, IL and your local community. CASA of Sangamon County has compiled recent facts that show what experts say about child abuse.

2022 Child Abuse Statistics in Illinois

Statistics are studied and proven numbers that give numerical importance to certain events or occurrences. Regarding child abuse, researching up-to-date statistics in your state is not only eye-opening but also allows the average person to be more aware of the need for advocates like our trained experts at CASA of Sangamon County. The following statistics were reported in 2022 by the Child Welfare League of America in the state of Illinois:

  • 79,944 Child Abuse & Neglect Referrals
  • 35,467 Child Victims of Abuse & Neglect
  • 4,640 Victim Cases Were 1-Year-Old Children
  • 80% of Child Maltreatment Perpetrators Were Parents
  • 50% of Children Were Female, 49% Were Male
  • 102 Child Fatalities Resulting from Abuse or Neglect

The Lasting Impact of Childhood Abuse & Neglect

Childhood abuse and neglect can have long-lasting impacts on a child’s development and well-being. Research has shown that children who experience abuse and neglect are at a higher risk for mental health problems, including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). When coming from an abusive household, they may also experience physical health problems, such as chronic pain and heart disease. Children who experience abuse and neglect are also more likely to struggle in school, have difficulty forming healthy relationships, and engage in risky behaviors, such as substance abuse and self-harm.

It’s essential to recognize the signs of child abuse and neglect and take action to prevent it. CASA of Sangamon County in Springfield, IL is dedicated to preventing lasting negative effects associated with abuse and neglect while providing advocacy and protection when they cannot do so themselves.

Help Give Every Child a Chance

Preventing child abuse and neglect is a collective responsibility that requires the efforts of everyone. Educating yourself on the signs of child maltreatment and how to report suspected abuse is crucial, and organizations such as the National Child Abuse Hotline and CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) provide valuable resources for identifying and reporting abuse. Experts have proven that mentoring a child can help them build resilience and develop healthy coping mechanisms, providing a positive role model to help prevent child abuse and neglect by equipping children with the necessary tools to navigate life’s challenges.

Volunteering for organizations like CASA of Sangamon County, which provide volunteer opportunities to advocate for children in the foster care system, can make a significant difference in the lives of children who have experienced abuse and neglect. Advocating for policies and legislation that protect children from abuse and neglect is also important, and contacting elected representatives and voicing support for programs and initiatives that provide resources and support to families in need can help give every child a chance.

How CASA Advocates Make a Difference

A Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) is an individual who undergoes specialized training and volunteers their time to speak up for the well-being of children who have suffered from neglect or abuse and have become involved in the legal system. The CASA‘s primary objective is to advocate for the child’s best interests in court. CASA advocates play a crucial role in helping children navigate the complexities of the child welfare system and ensuring that their needs are met with consistent support and help finding a permanent home. Here are some ways that CASA of Sangamon County advocates make a difference for local children:

  1. Advocacy: CASA advocates are trained to advocate for the best interests of the child in court and with social service agencies. They ensure that the child’s voice is heard and their needs are met.
  2. Support: CASA advocates provide emotional support to children who have experienced abuse and neglect, offering a listening ear and guidance as needed.
  3. Monitoring: CASA advocates monitor the child’s progress and ensure they receive the support and services they need to recover from their trauma.
  4. Resources: CASA advocates can connect families with resources in the community, including mental health services, educational support, and other services that can help the child recover from their trauma.
  5. Long-term Relationships: CASA advocates build long-term relationships with the children they serve, providing consistent support and guidance as they navigate the complexities of the child welfare system.
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