Sometimes you find yourself doing volunteer work and wonder if you are really making a difference in the world around you. That will not happen with CASA. Every adult I have met who had a CASA in their younger years has emphasized how crucial that person was in the topsy-turvy world of foster care.
Being a CASA is a significant commitment, but there are supportive roles in the office for those who can’t give that much time. The organization is well run: not a moment of training was wasted; layers of assistance are built in for new volunteers; watchdog organizations rate CASA highly in their use of donated funds. I am so glad that I found this worthy cause to which I could offer my time and efforts.
Volunteers advocate for children who have been abused and/or neglected who are in extremely difficult situations that mainstream adults and families have difficulty comprehending. Often we are the only true advocate for these children….
I was very concerned about my ability to do this as I have no prior related training or education in this field. This is not needed due to the excellent 40 hours of training and the ongoing support by both a personal mentor/manager along with a very hands-on approachable staff. CASA is for committed volunteers who want to make significant differences in the lives of children in extreme need and who want to be challenged personally.
I have been a CASA for several years. Children are the least represented in our court system. CASAs are the voices that speak only for them. The training is in-depth and our trainer was excellent. CASAs can work alone or with a partner. I knew no one when I began the training but was asked if I wanted to partner with a classmate. Having a partner was a great decision for me. We see things from different viewpoints and share the “work.” She has become a good friend so that is a totally unexpected benefit.
All CASAs have an Advocate Manager to call on any time there is a question or concern. Our manager is always there for us and is very supportive. Basically this is an opportunity to do something for children that have not had the security and support that all children deserve.
Jean Jacques D.
Children that become assigned to CASA are often being robbed of the joys of their childhood and are in very difficult positions through no fault of their own. Accepting the position of a CASA means being committed to following the children through their entire case, always being available to collect and update the facts in order to present the best recommendations for the children before the court. It is very rewarding to be part of a great team involved in “the best interest of the children.”
CASA Lake County is dedicated to the best interests of children who for no fault of their own have landed in the Child & Family Services system. As a CASA I collaborate with children face to face not because I am a teacher, doctor, attorney, therapist or parent. I am with them to listen and, in turn, speak on their behalf so that ultimately they may thrive in a safe and permanent home where they can focus on living the life of a child again.
There are numerous opportunities to support CASA: small fundraising endeavors, advocate recruitment events, private speaking engagements, and gala planning, to name a few. Volunteers are engaged in many activities.
Led by a team of approachable and accessible staff, nearly 300 CASAs champion the voices for roughly 500 children in Lake County. Unfortunately new children enter the child welfare system daily. Fortunately, handfuls of exceptional volunteers join forces with CASA Lake County to support them!
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