CASA. Chances are you’ve heard the acronym but aren’t sure exactly what it stands for. You may know that CASA works with children but don’t know what they do. As such an important organization for the community, it’s my goal to help spread the word of what CASA is and how you can help. As a CASA volunteer, I can say this is truly the most amazing, life-changing experience I’ve had, where I’ve also made a positive difference in the lives of some children in great need of support.
CASA, or Court Appointed Special Advocates, are volunteers whom, with special training, are the voice of deprived children dealing with situations through our court system. Life isn’t always full of cherries and an easy road. For many children, there are serious challenges they must face in or out of the home, such as neglect, abuse. These children, deprived of safety and comfort for whatever the reason, often find themselves a ward of the court as the world of adults takes on the challenge of where and how to care for them.
These children deserve a voice, someone to speak up for them when they may not have the capacity to do so. Without a specific support person within court proceedings, doing what’s best for a child can be much more difficult. Within our court system we have judges who need to make informed decisions to help deprived children get the support and care they need. Lawyers, police officers and the Department of Human Services are there to help, but only within the capacity of the laws and regulations they must follow. They are the macrocosm aspect of the court system, but children sometimes need a microcosm of support, a person they can trust to go to bat for them and give them a voice to be heard.
This is what CASA does. CASA volunteers take specific training to learn how to work with children, what questions to ask and things to take note of in interactions with deprived children in a court case. Sure, safety is key to finding a new home for someone whose parents aren’t able to care for them. But does this automatically mean a foster home or a relative? Which is better? The answers depend in large part in what the child needs which is unique to each one. A CASA helps the judge to understand the specifics for an individual child, providing a better likelihood of a positive future by giving the child a voice.
CASA is always in need of help. No special degree is required, you’ll have training and support along the way. CASAs are assigned one case at a time, so you’ll be empowered to empower these children in need. This is one way volunteering can truly have a significant and positive impact for both the one being helped and the volunteer directly. Find more information at their website as well TulsaCasa.org. For real estate questions, contact The Baskin Real Estate Specialists of eXp Realty at 918-732-9732 or darrylbaskin.com.