The Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program is seeking adults who are at least 21 years old to act as advocates for children who have been removed from their homes because they have been abused and neglected. With 17 children in foster care in Cass County not being served by a CASA volunteer, the CASA for Children program urges members of the community to consider becoming CASA volunteers.
When a child enters foster care because his or her home is no longer safe, a judge appoints a committed volunteer from the CASA for Children program to represent a child’s best interests. The volunteer guides the foster child through the overburdened and complex child protection system with the goal of reaching a safe and permanent home. CASA Volunteers are everyday members of the community doing extraordinary work by choosing to speak up for abused and neglected children in their communities. They are screened and trained, then appointed by the court to advocate for the best interests of a child in the foster care system. Often the CASA volunteer is the one constant in a child’s life while he or she goes through the overburdened system. CASA volunteers work to move children through foster care and into safe, permanent homes as quickly as possible.
The work of a CASA volunteer also involves gathering information from everyone involved in a child’s daily life, including family members, foster parents, teachers, doctors and social workers. CASA volunteers use the information they collect to report to the judge, advocating for the child’s physical and emotional needs. They are not foster parents; they are highly trained community advocates acting as a powerful voice for a child or sibling group.
CASA volunteers make a real difference in the lives of foster children by providing consistent, impactful adult presence until the child reaches a forever home. Through committed, highly trained everyday citizen volunteers, CASA bring the voice of a concerned community into the child welfare system. Studies have shown that children with CASAs receive more assistance and support than children without, and are more likely to be adopted or returned to their families and less likely to reenter the child welfare system.
CASA invites community members to join them for a one hour informational session outlining the CASA volunteer’s role and how you can become a powerful voice for a child. CASA currently holds information sessions monthly, every third Monday at the Atlanta Community Library, 160 E. Commerce Street, Atlanta, Texas from 1:00 – 5:30pm. The next session will be held Monday, October 16th. Every Child Deserves a Chance – It’s YOU!