<h1>West Virginia\u2019s children are suffering from the hidden epidemic of child abuse and neglect alongside the increasing drug crisis; it\u2019s a widespread war across our nation. There are over 7,000 children in the West Virginia foster care system, largely due to substance abuse. Our child victims are suffering.<\/h1>\r\nNo group of children is immune from being a victim of child abuse or neglect, although girls are more often the victims of sexual abuse than boys. For all other types of abuse and neglect, statistics are about equal for boys and girls. Although children of all ages experience abuse and neglect, it is the youngest children that are the most vulnerable; almost 27 percent of the victims of child abuse and neglect are under the age of three years.\r\n\r\nEvery child deserves to grow up in a safe, stable, and nurturing environment. Please join us during April Prevention Month to promote \u201c#Great Childhoods,\u201d by recognizing and strengthening child abuse prevention efforts in West Virginia. Across the country, April is recognized as Child Abuse Prevention Month. State and local agencies and concerned citizens all work toward the common purpose of preventing child abuse and deliver a powerful, collective message about the importance of protecting children, supporting families and strengthening communities.\r\n\r\nChildren are the foundation of our society, our community and our future. Children raised in loving and supportive environments are more likely to prosper academically and financially, becoming successful contributing members of society. Greenbrier County Citizen\u2019s must be a leader and champion for all of our children. We need to enhance the success of our communities by promoting programs and policies that seek to support the lives of children and families. Preventing child abuse and neglect results in better childhoods, ultimately saving millions of dollars currently needed for the services to address the short and long-term effects of abuse on children, their families, and our communities. The savings generated through prevention can be used to serve our communities in other ways, making them safer, economically successful, and great places to live and grow.\r\n\r\nIn April, we come together to participate in activities that show our commitment to children and families. State and local agencies and concerned citizens all work toward the common purpose of preventing child abuse and deliver a powerful, collective message about the importance of protecting children, supporting families and strengthening communities.\r\n\r\nAt the latest Greenbrier County Commission meeting, Jenny Castle, CASA\u2019s executive director, asked the County Commissioners to proclaim April as Child Abuse Prevention Month. During her presentations, Castle reported that it is a common misconception that child abuse is something that happens in other places and to other children. Unfortunately, West Virginia is not immune to cases of child abuse and neglect. There are currently 7,000 children in foster care throughout the state.\r\n\r\nChild abuse prevention is an acknowledged community responsibility - this month and each thereafter CASA of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit, shall commit to the theme for our Child Abuse Prevention Month \u201c#GreatChildhoods\u201d\r\n\r\nOn Mar. 27, the Greenbrier County Commissioner proclaimed April to be \u201cChild Abuse Prevention Month.\u201d April is devoted to celebrating everything we can do to transform our communities into places that care about and actively support families and children.\r\n\r\nSecondly, the committee requested to hold a Children\u2019s Memorial Flag Day Ceremony on Friday, Apr. 26, at noon in front of the courthouse which includes flying the Children\u2019s Memorial Flag from Apr. 26 through May 1.\r\n\r\nThis ceremony will not only be a reminder to the children who did not survive the child abuse they suffered, but will also be a chance to promote safety and wellbeing of all of our children. Three individuals within our county will be honored due to their advocacy and support to children who have been abused and neglected by helping them attain brighter futures. The committee is hopeful with these collaborative efforts to make all Greenbrier County Citizens aware of the serious crisis throughout our nation.\r\n\r\nBoth requests were approved by the County Commissioners, who also thanked Castle and the other agencies for \u201cfighting the fight\u201d and helping our local children. If you have any questions or would like to know how you can help our local abused and neglected children please contact CASA or Children\u2019s Home Society.