Bourbon County CASA is celebrating its 30th year of providing trained community volunteers to be a voice for our community’s abused and neglected children. Over 950 children have had a relentless volunteer by their side being their voice in the courtroom and advocating for their best interests. CASA volunteers undergo extensive training, and then skillfully and courageously guide abused and neglected children through the foster care system.
The important work of CASA volunteers is not as well known because it is performed under a necessary cloak of confidentiality within our Child in Need of Care court system. By helping to ensure that these children are placed in safe, secure and permanent homes, CASA volunteers are heroes to children whose homes and families have been destroyed by substance abuse, mental health issues, poverty and crime.
The CASA volunteer provides valuable information about the child – information that rarely surfaces during the usual adversarial proceeding – to the judge and all of the attorneys involved. But the CASA volunteer does not stop there: He or she also works closely with the child’s school and service providers to ensure that the child’s educational, medical and mental health needs are being met. Not surprisingly, national studies show that children with CASA volunteers assigned to them are typically placed in safe and permanent homes more quickly than those children without CASA vounters.
There are many fires to be extinguished, and many young, helpless lives to be saved. Our child welfare system and family courts are woefully understaffed and overstretched. The CASA volunteer provides a safety net for a child caught in the system that ensures the child’s interests remain front and center.
Unfortunately, there are many more children in Bourbon County in need of a CASA volunteer. In hopes of meeting that need, Bourbon County CASA is currently recruiting new volunteers to participate in it’s new volunteer training class. For more information on how to become a CASA volunteer please contact Christa Horn at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 620-215-2769.