Right now in Northeast Louisiana, over 150 children in foster care are waiting for a Court Appointed Special Advocate.
CASA of NELA, a division of the Center for Children and Families, will be holding training classes beginning on Oct. 6, 2022, in efforts to find more community members who will change a child’s story. Below is a success story of a CASA volunteer right here in Northeast Louisiana as told through the perspective of an advocate supervisor.
“The children were in a certified foster home. The advocate saw problems with the house including a house ‘guest’ that was always there but had not been checked out by caseworker. The advocate also found that the home was dirty, overcrowded, and the children did not have beds to sleep in.
“The foster mother was older and not able to keep up with the children. They did not go out and play and were in the home all day after school. The children would laugh easily with interaction from the CASA volunteer but otherwise would sit solemnly when the rest of the house members would be around.
“The CASA volunteer made sure the judge understood what the children were experiencing the house and advocated for the children to remain together through any placement process in three separate court reports. Because of this, the children were moved into an adoptive placement in Monroe and have now been officially adopted. All development and social issues have been addressed, and the adoptive family continues to give updates to their CASA advocate.”
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.
Since its 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, making a lifelong difference, one child at a time.
Visit www.casaofnela.org to learn more information or call 318.398.0945 to talk with someone today about how to become a CASA.
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