The Maryland Court Appointed Special Advocates for children (CASA) are hosting an event at the Towson Town Center mall to spread awareness about child abuse and neglect in Maryland.

“Approximately 10,000 children are under court protection in Maryland today as a result of abuse and neglect,” Ed Kilcullen, a Towson resident and the state director for Maryland CASA, said in a statement. “About 7.400 of these children are living in temporary foster care where they remain an average of three years before being placed in permanent homes.”

At the event, which will be held on Saturday, April 20 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. in the mall’s first floor court, CASA personnel will provide information about what citizens can do to prevent abuse. The event will feature games and prizes for mall patrons, as well as provide an opportunity to register for Team CASA in the Baltimore Running Festival.

According to Kilcullen, CASA becomes involved in abuse cases after the incidents occur but before the matter reaches court.

“Our hope is to spread awareness about the risk factors contributing to child maltreatment and to educate the public about what they can do to prevent abuse and help victims,” Kilcullen said.

For more information on this event and others held by CASA, visit www.marylandcasa.org.