Hi, my name is Heather. I’m a journalism student at Lynchburg College originally from Northern Virginia. I recently met with United Way and they asked me if I would be interested in running a blog for them. Instantly I was excited, not only because I get to do something I’m passionate about, but also because I get to go out and meet all of these amazing non-profits which United Way works with. Recently, I met with CASA a.k.a. Court Appointed Special Advocates and here are some things you should know about them…
10 reasons to know about Court Appointed Special Advocates:
- The CASA program is one of a kind
- They’re helping benefit the community one child at a time
- They train volunteers to be superheros
- The CASA program in Lynchburg, Va. served over 298 kids with 104 volunteers last year alone
- They are a national non-profit but specifically serve the Lynchburg, Bedford and Campbell Counties
- Kids without a CASA volunteer are more likely to stay in the foster care program for longer
- There are typically 50 to 60 kids on the waiting list
- If left on the waiting list for too long the kids get sent back into the system
- Their highest demographic are children is under the age of 5
- They have an upcoming Superhero race on November 5 in Downtown Lynchburg
One of CASA’s mottos is “the constant omits the chaos.” Their volunteers act as this constant for the children within the program. While many are struggling with balancing their overly hectic school life along with their court appointments, bouncing foster families, meetings with their families, etc. The CASA advocate is there to benefit the child.
Goals of a CASA Volunteer:
- Find a stable home for child whether it be with parents, family member, or adopted
- Focus on one childs case at a time
- Be a stability for the child
- Give recommendations to judges
- Be the voice of the child
In the future, I look forward to getting to work with the other non-profits which United Way is partnered with.
This post was written by Guest Blogger, Heather MacNeil with Lynchburg College.