This past week, we were excited to host Kimberly Barnes, CEO and Martha Alcantara-Sanchez, Community Outreach Specialist from Douglas County CASA to speak during our monthly NE211 staff meeting. CASA trains, empowers, and inspires volunteer advocates to improve the lives of abused and neglected children.
NE211 refers our community members in need to CASA, to ensure children involved in the child welfare system have a dedicated, passionate, and powerful voice advocating for their best interests. CASA stands up for children and holds out hope for safe, loving, and permanent homes, while providing critical and transformative resources, recommendations, and solutions. We are proud to partner with CASA, as they strengthen our community.
CASA gives children in foster care the support they deserve. CASA strives to make a difference in the lives of children in our community. Currently, there are 275 children matched with a CASA volunteer, and 165 children on the waitlist. As the number of children in foster care continues to grow, CASA volunteers are absolutely essential.
CASA Volunteer Jordan has been with CASA since 2019. She describes her love for the CASA program saying, “it makes me happy to be able to give the children a little break from the craziness of life and just hang out with them.” No special background or education is required to become a CASA volunteer. CASA encourages people from all cultures and professions, and of all ethnic and educational backgrounds to volunteer. CASAs complete 30 hours of pre-service training and attend 2 court observations. After the application and study process is complete, CASAs are sworn in by a Juvenile Court Judge and assigned their first case. CASAs then learn everything they can about the child, their family life, and their needs through monthly visits and research. CASAs make fact-based recommendations to help the child thrive and ensure that necessary services are provided. Finally, CASAs journey with a child until they are placed in a safe, permanent, and loving home.
We are thankful for the impact CASA has made in the lives of children across our state, and are proud to call them a NE211 partner. Click here to learn more about CASA.