CASA of NELA offers advocate training

Lincoln Parish – CASA of NELA, a non-profit organization that supports and promotes court-appointed volunteer advocacy so every child who has experienced abuse or neglect can be safe, have a permanent home and the opportunity to thrive. As children in Lincoln Parish return to school, so do the reports of child abuse and neglect.

On any given day, there are nearly 400 children and youth in foster care in Northeast Louisiana. Children who have experienced abuse or neglect are involved with multiple systems – the court system, the child welfare system, the health care system, and the school system. As a result, returning to school can be difficult and unpredictable.

Court Appointed Special Advocates are community members who volunteer with CASA of NELA. They work with children in the child welfare system who have already experienced abuse or neglect. They meet with the children in person at least monthly and provide information to the judges that helps them make the most well-informed decisions about each child. These visits provide an opportunity for CASA volunteers to check in on the children’s safety and well-being.

CASA of NELA will be offering a training class beginning On Monday, September 13, from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm in Ruston. Training consists of 5 classes, background checks and a preservice interview. For more information, contact Katey Parnell at 318-245-3646.

“Our Volunteers are in frequent contact with the teachers and school administrators to form a partnership to better understand the child’s unique strengths and challenges. These interactions with the child’s school, combined with the volunteer’s relationship with the child, empower our volunteers to advocate in court for what the child needs to thrive academically.” said Leslie Bryan, Community Development Coordinator. “Our goal is to not only advocate in court, but also in the classroom, and that can come in the form of setting up children and youth for success by building a relationship of trust and commitment.”

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