It’s a word that most of us take for granted, but for the hundreds of children in Northeast Louisiana that are abused or neglected each year, it’s not so clearly defined. For a child that has been in three foster homes and two schools in the past year, the idea of home can seem like a distant memory.
CASA volunteers are appointed by a judge to help ensure that each abused or neglected child finds a safe, permanent home as quickly as possible. The role of a CASA is to act as an extra pair of eyes and ears for the court system, collecting information through observation and interviews with key people in the child’s life and then reporting back to the judge.
Our current need for new volunteers is great. Although we have over 140 volunteers currently serving over 270 children in our region, we still have about 100 children who are in need of an advocate to speak up for their best interest.
A child with a CASA volunteer is twice as likely to find a permanent home and not languish in long term foster care. Since our inception, CASA of Northeast Louisiana has advocated for approximately 1,900 children in need of care and has trained nearly 800 community volunteers. These CASA volunteers come from all walks of life and are a powerful voice for a child in need.
A CASA volunteer is a voice to the voiceless, standing in the gap for children who can’t speak up for themselves. Our advocates serve children from newborns to 17 years of age, speaking up for the best interest and unique needs of each specific child. Whether it’s advocating for a medical need for a toddler or helping an older youth prepare to transition out of foster care and into adulthood, CASAs are making a lifelong difference for children in Northeast Louisiana everyday.
For a child that has been let down by the adults they trusted the most, a CASA volunteer can offer one of the most important intangible needs a child has: hope. Hope that someone actually cares about them. Hope that they are more than their circumstances. Hope that their lives don’t have to continue down the same path.
CASA volunteers are trained by our caring staff, who also coach and support them after they are sworn in by a judge. The average CASA volunteer gives five to ten hours each month advocating for a child.
CASA volunteers stand for hope for a child everyday and we invite you to consider joining us in that mission. “The least of these” are right here in our neighborhoods. Abuse and neglect know no zip code and there are children across our region in need right now. If you would like more information about becoming a CASA volunteer, please contact us at (318) 398-0945 or email@example.com. You can also learn more at our website www.casaofnela.org.
Community Development Coordinator
CASA of Northeast Louisiana