Professionals in academics, gaming, tech, the military an other walks of life will add richness to their lives when they take an oath as CASA volunteers on Monday, Oct. 29 at noon at Family Court, Courtroom 9, 601 N. Pecos Road.
The CASA program recruits, screens, trains and supports volunteers to represent the best interests of hundreds of foster children annually. The volunteers speak on behalf of children in foster care who have endured abuse and neglect. The give input 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.
There is a big need for CASA volunteers in Clark County to speak up for the approximately 3,200 children in the community, who are receiving services under supervision of Family Court. Those who want to help abused and neglected children are invited to one of the upcoming CASA orientations, which are held the third Wednesday of each month at 6 p.m. at the Government Center, 500 S. Grand Central Pkwy. More information is available about the program at 702-455-4306, visit www.casalasvegas.org or Facebook at www.facebook.com/#!/CASALasVegas. Due to the Thanksgiving holiday the next CASA orientation will be held on Nov. 14 at 6 p.m. at the Government Center, 500 S. Grand Central Pkwy.
“Children who have endured abuse and neglect are traumatized. They need stability in their life and someone to speak up for them to communicate what is in their best interest,” said Family Court Judge Frank Sullivan, who will administer the oath to the CASA volunteers. “CASAs bring a much needed voice stability. They give judges a picture of what’s going on with a child and they offer the children consistency.”
There are around 329 CASA volunteers serving as a voice for children under the supervision of the Family Court CASA Program. Many more volunteers are needed to advocate for the remainder of the children in care. Last year, nearly one thousand children had a CASA volunteer to help them navigate through the system, deal with school challenges and handle home life.
“Volunteering to help these children in need is a tangible way to make a difference and have a huge impact on the life of a child,” said Presiding Family Court Judge Bryce Duckworth. “The need is big and the feeling of reward is great.”
“You’ll never do anything that will be more fulfilling than being a CASA,” said Carolyn Muscari, A 37-year CASA volunteer. “It’s the best paying job I ever had, and I never made a cent. I get paid in satisfaction. You can make a difference and it makes you feel good.”