A chorus of new Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers were sworn in today at a ceremony at the Eighth Judicial District Family Court. The newly trained volunteers will help fill a very big need for advocates to speak on behalf of 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 volunteer to be a voice for every foster child.

“Advocating for a foster child just a few hours each month, can make a very important difference in the life of a child,” said Family Court Judge Frank Sullivan, who oversees the CASA program. “I urge members of the community to consider volunteering for the CASA program. It will be a truly rewarding experience for those who volunteer.”

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, child and 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. 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 http://www.casalasvegas.org or Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/#!/CASALasVegas.