As a CASA, you’re giving back to your community in a way that goes beyond the holiday volunteer gigs — you’re giving a child a brighter future.
Today, many feel driven to give back to their community. Those who feel they’ve received good fortune in their own lives, have made the important choice to use their influence and intellect to try to assist in challenging issues and build a foundation for those less fortunate. The problem lies in making the choice between all of the incredible volunteer and community outreach opportunities available in Maricopa County’s thriving nonprofit spaces.
If this sounds like a familiar scenario and you are looking for a way to give back and support your community, becoming a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer is one of the surest ways to make a lasting impact.
Here are just 10 ways making a commitment to the foster population served by CASA of Maricopa County can create a positive and enduring mark on your community. As a CASA, you can:
- Ensure abused and neglected children have a voice
- Provide emotional support for children going through a period of uncertainty in their lives
- Provide stability to children in school, allowing them to focus on their studies
- Assist teenagers and older youths in being aware of their options after foster care
- Children who have regular access to their CASA advocate are half as likely to reenter foster care
- The presence of a CASA volunteer can decrease the amount of time a child is in foster care
- Provide kids in foster care with a consistent adult role model
- Enable greater access to valuable services
- Children in foster care without proper guidance have an increased likelihood of going down the wrong path
- CASA volunteers can help ensure that children under their care are moved less frequently from one foster family to another
Federal, state, and local officials whose responsibility it is to process children through the court and foster systems have come to rely heavily on CASA programs to improve outcomes and prevent delinquency. For instance:
- The United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) give their highest recommendation to CASA programs
- The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention categorizes CASA as an important safety net for abused and neglected children
- The National Bar Association fully endorses the use of child advocates to prevent bureaucratic backlogs in cases involving children
- The Council of Family Court Judges has highlighted the work of CASA programs in keeping children moving properly through the foster system and ensuring long-term homes in safe environments for abused children
- The United States Department of Justice (DoJ) also found in their case studies of CASA interactions with foster children that court cases involving CASA volunteers are more often resolved than those without
By upending the status quo and providing foster kids with a path to a more positive outcome, CASA volunteers provide immeasurable impact to the community around them.
For those considering giving back to their community by becoming a foster parent, but don’t necessarily have the ability, consider becoming a CASA.
Become a CASA Volunteer
To become a CASA volunteer, contact your local CASA program to begin the application process. As soon as you have completed the minimum required hours of training, an Order of Appointment (OA) will be drafted to officially assign you to a case. Begin your CASA journey today by visiting our Advocate Information Center.