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Pueblo sees a 31% increase in child abuse and neglect cases, CASA needs volunteers

PUEBLO, Colo. (KRDO) -- Court Appointed Special Advocates, CASA, of Pueblo is hoping to secure dozens of new volunteers this year as they say the area is seeing an increasing number of child neglect and abuse cases.

CASA of Pueblo is celebrating 20 years as the non-profit who recruits volunteers to keep on eye on at-risk kids in the community. Pueblo has seen a 31% in crease in child abuse and neglect cases since last year and a 24% increase in child physical abuse cases.

The increasing number of cases is heightening the demand for volunteers to get into the homes and lives of the children and find out as much as they can to present to the courts.

CASA cites the pandemic as one of the reasons abuse cases have risen, they said economic hardship, isolation, depression, homelessness, and substance abuse have all spilled over into the lives of too many children.

Another staggering statistic, CASA said they've seen a 61% increase in drug exposed infants as parents turned to substances as coping mechanism during the pandemic. Unfortunately, these infants and youth often become a victim a second time as they’re put into an already overburdened child welfare system.

If you want to get involved, an informational session will be held on Thursday Jan. 20 from noon to 1 p.m. at the CASA of Pueblo Conference Center at 107 Quincy St. or over zoom.

For more information about becoming a volunteer and attending by zoom or in-person, call 719-583-6326 or email tammy@casaofpueblo.org.

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Riley Carroll

Riley is a weekend anchor and reporter for KRDO. Learn more about her here.

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