Thursday, January 6, 2022 - New Year’s resolutions typically focus on self-improvement: lose weight, stop smoking, exercise. This year, why not resolve to do something to help others?
You can resolve to improve the life of a local child by becoming a Court Appointed Special Advocate, or CASA volunteer. CASA volunteers are everyday citizens from the community who are screened, trained, and then appointed by a judge to advocate for a child’s best interest in court. Volunteers give time, energy, and compassion to create lasting positive change for local children.
Children served by CASA for Children are under the protection of the State of Oklahoma due to serious risk factors such as abuse or neglect. Many of these children face major barriers during their journeys to safe, permanent homes, often changing schools and foster placements multiple times. Every child deserves individual advocacy regarding their best interest, which is where CASA comes in.
CASA volunteers get to know the child(ren) they represent by talking with the child and everyone in the child’s life, such as parents and relatives, foster parents, teachers, medical professionals, attorneys, social workers, and others. They gather information to assist judges and other professionals in making crucial decisions to meet each child’s needs, with the goal of determining the best permanent outcomes for these children. Most importantly, the CASA volunteer gets to know the child, often becoming one of the most consistent adults in the child’s life.
“CASA’s involvement helps children to feel more hopeful while also helping to improve outcomes for the children,” explained Suzanne Hughes, Executive Director of CASA for Children. “These improved outcomes can include safety, permanency, academic success, overall wellbeing, increased self control, positive social relationships, and optimism,” said Hughes.
CASA urgently needs more volunteers. Every child in foster care should have an advocate who is committed to helping them be successful - committed to giving them a bigger chance at a brighter future. Become a CASA volunteer and advocate for a child who needs you.
CASA for Children is currently accepting applications for their next pre-service training that begins online in February 2022. Volunteers from all cultures, ethnicities, and backgrounds are welcome. For more information or to complete an application, visit www.casaok.org or call Jenny Crosby at 918-685-1501.
KXMX News Staff
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