When a child is removed from their home and placed into foster care, they are thrust into a world that can be scary and uneasy – but there is one person who will be by their side throughout the process, advocating for their every need. That person is their Court Appointed Special Advocates, known as a CASA.
On any given day, there are more than 400,000 children in the foster care system in the United States of America. On average, children remain in the care of the state for two years.
“CASAs become the one consistent person in a child’s life all throughout the time they are in foster care. Once appointed to a child, they follow the child wherever they are placed, whether it is in a foster home or kinship home,” said CASA of Red River Executive Director Laura Grimsinger.
When a child is placed in foster care, judges will often appoint a CASA to help one child or one set of siblings through the system. By focusing on only one child at a time, the CASA volunteer truly gets to know the child or siblings, giving each case the attention it deserves.
CASA volunteers will research case records, speak to each person involved in the child’s life, from everyone from their teacher to family members.
“They also search out and present what is in the best interest of the child. They get to know them, learn things that they need and recommend services that the court will often times follow up on or make orders so a child’s needs can be met,” said Grimsinger.
CASA of Red River is part of the national volunteer movement that serves abused and neglected children by providing trained community volunteers to speak up in court for the best interest of the children.
To read the full story, pick up a copy of the January/February issue of LiveIt magazine.