A fresh group of Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers will gain a new sense of purpose in time for the holiday season after they are sworn in at a ceremony at the Eighth Judicial District Family Court on Monday, Oct. 24 at noon, at Family Court, Courtroom 9, 601 N. Pecos Road. They will join the ranks of other CASAs who helped to give kids who have faced abusive situations a voice. There is a big need for CASAs in Clark County. Several opportunities are upcoming for people who want to have a positive impact on the life of a child. Those who want to help abused and neglected children are invited to one of the upcoming CASA orientations: Nov. 16 and Dec. 21 from 6-7:30 p.m. 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 www.facebook.com/#!/CASALasVegas.
“Around the holidays people look for ways to give back. Volunteering to help abused and neglect children is fulfilling, rewarding and much needed,” said Family Court Judge Frank Sullivan, who will administer the oath to the CASA volunteers. “When children have a CASA, they have a voice. When they have a voice, they have hope. When they have hope, they have a future. I encourage anyone who is looking to make a difference in our community to consider volunteering as a CASA.”
There are 351 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 goal is to get a CASA volunteer for every child in foster care.
“Those who volunteer as a CASA have a profound impact on the lives of children who have suffered abuse and neglect.” said Presiding Family Court Judge Charles Hoskin. “CASA volunteers can take pride in knowing that they help ensure that foster children are given proper treatment, the care they deserve and a voice in court.”
The CASA program recruits, screens, trains and supports volunteers to 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. In 1980, Judge John Mendoza led the creation of the Clark County CASA Program. The CASA mission continues to be fully supported by Family Court judges. 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.