There are about 3,500 children in the foster care system. They face instability, uncertainty and challenges that make it very difficult for any young person to be successful. Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA’s) are able to provide a stabilizing force in their lives. As CASA celebrates 35 years of serving the community, the push is on to get more people to volunteer. The goal is to get a volunteer to be a voice for every foster child. The volunteers get so much in return.
In 1980, Judge John Mendoza led the creation of the Clark County CASA Program. He saw a need that has continued to grow over the years. Thirty-five years later, 35 Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA’s) for youth in Foster Care have taken to the CASALasVegas Facebook page to share their personal stories of being a voice for kids in foster care and making a difference. Their stories make it clear that the volunteers end up coming out of the experience enriched and feeling that they really have made a difference.
The primary goal of CASA is to help children achieve permanence in a safe and loving home and to ensure that the children they speak for will have the opportunity for a bright future. For 35 years, the CASA program has recruited and trained volunteers to serve as a voice for children in foster care. There are many stories of success that have impacted the lives of the kids and their families. The stories posted on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CASALasVegas provide inspiration.
There are currently around 357 CASA volunteers serving as a voice for foster children in our community. Many more volunteers are needed to advocate for the nearly 3,500 children receiving services under supervision of Family Court. Last year, more than 900 children had a CASA volunteer to help them navigate through the system, and deal with school challenges and home life.
“The stories shared by the CASA volunteers show how one person can make a big difference in the life of a child,” said Family Court Judge Frank Sullivan. I encourage people in the community to visit the CASALasVegas Facebook page to see the satisfaction volunteers receive and to consider volunteering as a CASA.”
The CASA program recruits, screens, trains and supports the volunteers who represent the best interests of hundreds of foster children annually. The advocates represent the children in school, family team meetings, and in court. Volunteering for the program involves a two-year commitment and a willingness to spend quality time with the children to advocate for them. The CASA mission continues to be fully supported by Family Court judges.
“For 35 years, CASA has met a crucial need in our community. We thank those who have volunteered to serve as a voice for youth in foster care, and we encourage others to volunteer to help ensure a bright future for the more than 3,500 young people in need of a voice,” said Presiding Family Division Judge Charles Hoskin.
For those interested in volunteering with CASA, monthly orientations are held on the third Wednesday of each month to provide more information about the program. Upcoming orientations will be held at the Government Center, 500 S. Grand Central Pkwy. For more information about the program please call 702-455-4306, visit www.casalasvegas.org or Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CASALasVegas. Follow CASA on Twitter at