Thursday, May 27, 2010

I've decided to become a CASA

Since having kids it has really open my eyes to child abuse/neglect. It really breaks my heart to see kids that aren't being taken care of. It saddens me to know that there are alot of kids out there that don't have it 1/2 as good as my kids do. They don't choose to be born to idiots... I mean, what if that was me?... What if I didn't have the great parents that I do?.. Where would I be?... So that's why Ive decided to become a CASA. I can give that child hope. I am current training to become a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate). I will be a guardian ad litem for children who are removed from their homes and placed in foster care. I will represent the child's best needs. Tonight is my last night for training and Tuesday I will officially be sworn in as a CASA! I'm really excited and anxious to work with the kids. I'm excited to get my first case and scared at the same time. Wondering how I wont break into tears when I read his/her file and talk to them for the first time.

Casa of the Pines
CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates.
When a child enters the foster care system because his or her home is no longer safe, a judge appoints a committed volunteer from CASA of the Pines to help them.
Our official title in court is Guardian Ad Litem, a role required by law in the state of Texas. CASA Guardians ad Litem advocate in court for the best interests of neglected and abused children in foster care to help insure their placement in safe, permanent homes.
Volunteers research case records and speak to everyone involved in a child’s life, including their family members, teachers, doctors, lawyers, social workers and others. They investigate, evaluate and make recommendations to the judge who has the responsibility of determining the child’s permanent placement.
CASA volunteers are committed people – teachers, business people, retirees, stay-at-home moms and grandparents – who want to make certain that foster children have safe homes.
CASA volunteers receive extensive training prior to working with a child as well as ongoing support throughout a case:
CASA volunteers undergo a thorough training and development program that consists of at least 30 hours of pre-service training, followed by 12 hours of yearly in-service training.
CASA advocates are supervised and supported every step of the way by CASA staff.
The CASA volunteer commitment is about 15 hours a month until the case is closed. The length of each case varies but could last over a year.
CASA volunteers are asked to commit to a child’s case until it is closed and a child achieves a safe, permanent home.
-Casa of the Pines