Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Court Appointed Special Advocates

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If you have a heart for helping those in need, consider becoming a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for a child in your area. In most regions, you may work with children who are either dependents of the court (abused/neglected) or delinquents (have broken the law). Many children fall under both categories.

What is a CASA? This is an adult who has been trained regarding the particular needs of children who have been abused or who have broken the law. The adult befriends a child and meets with him or her weekly to hang out, mentor, play, talk, or spend time in whatever capacity will benefit the child. This adult also has access to the child's full set of records (court, school, doctor, etc.); may discuss concerns with the other adults in the child's life (parents, foster parents, social workers, therapists, teachers, etc.); and advocates for the child in court by making recommendations in court reports and answering questions the judge may have during hearings.

Your investment in the life of a child can have a lasting impact on his or her current experience and future choices. In many cases, CASA's are one of the few consistent adults in the life of a child who has been let down countless times.

Check out the CASA program in your community! Click here for more information on becoming a CASA in the Bay Area. And feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.

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