In honor of April being Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month, Advocacy Network for Children will be holding their second “Koins for Kids” on Monday, April 18th at the corners of 18th & State.  The money raised through this event will help with day-to-day operating costs of Advocacy Network for Children which provides advocacy for abused and neglected children in nine of the counties in West-Central Illinois. The hours for the event will be 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Advocacy Network for Children provides two distinct programs for abused and neglected children in our community.  The CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) program recruits, trains and supervises volunteers to speak in the best interest of abused and neglected children in the juvenile court system. Last year, almost 200 children were represented by CASA volunteers in Adams and McDonough Counties.

The Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) provides a child-friendly, neutral environment where child victims of sexual abuse or severe physical abuse and their non-offending family meet with law enforcement, Department of Children and Family Services and State’s Attorney for the purpose of investigation.  The Children’s Advocacy Center coordinates the investigation and provides a variety of advocacy and support to the child victim and non-offending family.

Children’s Advocacy Center staff helps bridge the gap between social services, law enforcement, and the court system. The Children’s Advocacy Center program served over 300 children in 2015.

Child abuse occurs at every socioeconomic level, across ethnic and cultural lines, within all religions and at all levels of education.  A report of child abuse is made every ten seconds and more than five children die every day as a result of child abuse.  About 30% of abused or neglected children will later abuse their own children.  More than 90% of juvenile sexual abuse victims know their perpetrator in some way.  As reported by Childhelp (