A Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) is an everyday citizen who has completed screening and training to become an advocate for abused and neglected children in the foster care system. Volunteering for the children in the community helps make sure they don’t get lost in the overburdened child welfare system. Independent research has demonstrated that children with a CASA are less likely to spend time in long-term foster care or re-enter care. Children in the system range in age from newborn to 18. Their unique needs will keep you on your toes in the most wonderful way. Two of Prescott’s CASAs shared their experience on what it is like to be an advocate:
“The incredible support and professionalism of the CASA staff and program equip me to really make a difference for some of our most vulnerable kids. I feel valued and listened to by the judge and other team members. The kids are amazing. I love them and I love being able to advocate successfully for them.” – Nancy Taylor.
“I am a CASA for a teen. We have had a great time just going out for 2-hour meals. He fills me in on subjects like cars, music, his school days, his views on history, politics, sports, anthropology, and the Renaissance. I just marvel at the variety of topics he discusses. I do not correct any factual inaccuracies I may recognize as, after all, I think they are inaccurate only because I feel that I must know everything by now at age 66. This breaking of bread and patient listening may allow me to gain some rapport, so after a while, when I guess the time is right, I throw in my views on the morality and honesty he should try to exemplify as a young teenager in the crazy year of 2021. Each meeting I am truly fascinated by how a young man 50 years younger than myself is trying to gauge things on this planet. This experience is always illuminating and worthwhile.” – Ken Everett.
CASA of Yavapai County is looking for caring adults to advocate for children in foster care. CASA volunteers must be at least 21 years old, have 15-20 hours per month to devote as a CASA, and be willing to remain on the case until permanency. To learn more, please call 928-771-3165 or visit www.CASAofYavapaiCounty.org.