Do you know what a CASA is? If you were like me, I had heard of a CASA, but really had not idea what they actually did.
|My CASA Class. One of these things is not like the others.|
Let’s start with the basics; CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocate. Let’s get a little deeper. The following is taken directly from the CASA website.
Every day in this country, 1,900 children become victims of abuse or neglect, and four of them will die every day. Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for Children is a network of 950 community-based programs that recruit, train and support citizen-volunteers to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in courtrooms and communities. Volunteer advocates – empowered directly by the courts – offer judges the critical information they need to ensure that each child’s rights and needs are being attended to while in foster care.
Volunteers stay with children until they are placed in loving permanent homes. For many abused children, a CASA volunteer is the only constant adult presence in their lives.
In the county that I (Matt) live, Elkhart County (in Indiana), there are over 100 children who do not have a CASA. It is a great need to make sure that all children have someone who is committed to having their best interest in mind. As a CASA you have an amazing opportunity to advocate for neglected and abused children to help ensure that the child is placed into a safe and permanent home as soon as possible.
There are 950 CASA programs in 49 states, so chances are, there is one near you. You do go through special training to help prepare you to be a CASA. If you are interested in becoming a CASA go to their website and look for the local CASA program in your area. You truly can help make a difference in the lives of children in your community.
|Being sworn in by the Magistrate.|