Stand up! Speak up! Be a CASA!
Friday, March 18, 2022 - If you want to support your community, enjoy working with children, and want to help change the story of a child in need, CASA for Children may have the perfect opportunity for you.
CASA is looking for volunteers to help be the voice for abused and neglected children in Muskogee, Wagoner, Sequoyah, and McIntosh counties.
CASA volunteers are everyday citizens, specially trained by CASA staff, and appointed by a judge to advocate for the best interests and safety of children in the custody of the State of Oklahoma. Volunteers gather information, identify resources, and work in partnership with all parties on the case to ensure the child’s needs are met.
“There are a lot of things that children need throughout their time in State’s custody,” said Suzanne Hughes, Executive Director of CASA for Children. “CASA volunteers determine these needs and make them known to the judge and other parties on the case, advocating for the child’s best interests at all times.”
In an effort to provide consistency and quality advocacy for the children in care, each CASA volunteer is typically only assigned to one case at a time, Hughes said. With the number of open and active cases throughout the four county area served by CASA, they have a desperate need for additional volunteers to help to fill that role.
CASA volunteers come from all walks of life and backgrounds, but all have one thing in common - a passion for helping children.
Sam Sprague became an advocate in August 2020 looking for a way to give back to the children in her community. Sam is a teacher at Coweta Public Schools and had always considered foster care, but knew it wasn’t the right fit for their family. CASA provided Sam a way to utilize her passion to care for foster children and youth while still being focused on her career and two young children.
“I’ve only had one case so far, but it was such a joyful case because I was able to witness the biological mother work so hard to get her daughter back. As CASA volunteers we advocate for the child, but I was able to do this and also advocate for the family to be reunited. It was a beautiful experience.”
Volunteers with CASA are required to complete a training program and several background checks before accepting a case, Hughes said, and all volunteers work closely with a supervisor who provides additional guidance and support throughout their case.
“Don’t be afraid to start the process,” said Sprague. “You will get so much help and support along the way so don’t let fear stop you from advocating for someone who needs it most.”
Those interested in learning more about becoming a volunteer can contact Jenny Crosby via phone at (918) 685-1501 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or they may visit the CASA for Children website at www.casaok.org.
KXMX Staff Writer
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