Sometime in this next week, most likely, my world will be turned upside down once again.
It happened four years ago, when my daughter was born. Very soon, I’ll have a son.
Becoming a parent has been one of the most life-changing events I could imagine. I know this isn’t exactly breaking news for the parents reading this column.
One minute, your life revolves around yourself and your wife, and the next, it’s all about the kid.
And it’s great.
It’s also a great responsibility.
You want to do everything you can to make sure you give your kids the best life possible. There are times as a parent you feel like you are accomplishing that goal and feel proud, and other times, you feel like you fall way short.
But no matter what else happens, kids teach you what love really is. It’s like no matter how you might feel about yourself, you are still their hero.
Unfortunately, not all parents live up to that responsibility or realize that children are a gift. It’s why we have a designated time to highlight problems with child abuse.
April is Child Abuse Awareness month.
On Friday, I visited with Claudene Griffith, executive director of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Wise and Jack County, about some possible story ideas, including their move to a new location Monday. She shared with me some child abuse statistics for Texas.
Here are some eye-opening facts from fiscal year 2010:
- Every eight minutes, a child in Texas was a victim of abuse or neglect.
- A child died from abuse and neglect every 38 hours in Texas.
- One out of every 100 children was a victim of abuse or neglect in Texas.
- Nearly 40,000 or 59 percent of those children were infants to 6 years old.
- Nearly 43,000 children were cases and the custody of the Department of Family and Protective Services.
CASA currently has 46 cases in the two counties it serves, and that represents 88 kids. In Wise County alone, there are 40 cases representing 74 kids. Each case requires a volunteer. Currently, CASA has 22 volunteers, so you can see the needs are still great.
For more information about becoming a CASA volunteer, call (940) 627-7535, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website at www.casawise.org. You can also find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CASAofWiseandJackCounties.
For more information and statistics on child abuse, visit www.childwelfare.gov.
And if you are a parent, give your child an extra hug each day this month to remember those who need more of them.