Nearly 3,500 children in the community are receiving services under supervision of Family Court. Many of them are in foster care. They are scared, lonely and intimidated by the system that they have been thrown into, through no fault of their own. CASA volunteers bring hope and stability to these children. A new group of CASA volunteers will take an oath to speak on behalf of abused and neglected kids on Monday, Feb. 13 at noon, at Family Court, Courtroom 9, 601 N. Pecos Road.

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: Feb.15 and March 15 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.

There are 323 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.

“I invite community members to pay it forward by volunteering as a CASA,” said Family Court Judge Frank

Sullivan, who will administer the oath to the CASA volunteers. “When children have a CASA, they have a voice. That voice helps to ensure they get the opportunities that every child deserves. When children have opportunity they have a shot at a bright future, which is good for the entire community. I encourage anyone who is looking to make a difference in our community to consider volunteering as a CASA.”

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.

“In family cases we see the heartbreak of children who are neglected and abused. We are fortunate to have great volunteer advocates to speak on their behalf; but more are needed.” said Presiding Family Court Judge Charles Hoskin. “Our goal is to have an advocate for each of the nearly 3,500 children receiving services under supervision of the Family Division.”