(Gila County, AZ –) CASA of Gila County is seeking volunteers from the community to join the program as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for youth placed in foster care.
“Our local children in foster care, are placed in out-of-home settings due to abuse or neglect at absolutely no fault of their own. They each deserve to have an adult on their side who has a primary focus on their needs while their family is going through the case,” explained Emily Nader, CASA Coordinator in the Globe CASA Office.
She also noted that the volunteer role is not a placement for the child to live with, not legal representation and requires only a few hours a week. A CASA Volunteer is a voice for a child after they have been removed from the only home they know. At this time CASA of Gila County only has, four volunteers from the southern area of Gila County, but over 60 children who go without a court appointed volunteer to stand up for them in court.
“If we could get at least 20 additional volunteers from Globe, Miami, San Carlos, Hayden, or surrounding areas, we could really make a great impact in the lives of some of our most vulnerable children.”
“Our volunteers are amazing community members, most without any experience with child welfare, the legal system, or even firsthand experience in raising children,” said Nader. “They are people who knew they wanted to make a difference in the community and know that every child is worth the time!”
CASA Volunteers fill a vital role in a child’s life while they are in foster care settings and CASA of Gila County is in dire need of volunteers in southern Gila County. Volunteers are not required to reside in Gila County to serve as a child’s CASA, as many of the children are not able to be placed locally.
These children have been removed from the homes they know due to abuse or neglect and need someone who will listen and advocate for what that child needs while they are in temporary living situations.
The monthly time commitment each month is typically between 10 to 15 hours and most of the hours being completed around the volunteer’s schedule.
“Being a CASA volunteer has been a true blessing and calling for me. Even while working full time, being a single mom, and being in nursing school the last two years; I still made time to volunteer,” explained CASA Volunteer Breanna, who is also a mother and Nurse. “Being a volunteer for these kiddos has made my heart so happy. Knowing I made a difference in these kiddos’ lives gives me the greatest joy. It has helped me to appreciate being a mom myself and to appreciate my life as it is. I choose to volunteer because having had my own hard childhood and having experienced things that children should not have to experience, made me want to be there for a child as I had wished someone would have been there for me. Someone to save me and someone to help me navigate moving forward. Being a CASA, I am able to do this for another child!”
No special background or education is required to become a CASA volunteer. CASA Volunteers are a caring and generous group that represents a wide range of cultures, professions, educational, and ethnic backgrounds. CASA volunteers must be at least 21 years old and willing to complete necessary background checks, provide references and participate in an interview. Once accepted into the program, CASA volunteers receive all necessary training at no cost to the volunteer. While serving as a child’s CASA volunteer, you will receive ongoing support and assistance from a local CASA Coordinator.
To learn more about how you can become a part of the CASA team and make a difference in the life of an abused or neglected child from your community, contact the CASA of Gila County Program staff by calling 928-402-4427 or visiting the website: www.CASAofGilaCounty.org