The Court Appointed Special Advocate program seeks to expand into Union County and needs volunteers to give children in foster care a voice.
Advocates with CASA come from all walks of life and are trained volunteers appointed by a judge to pursue the best interests of children that have been removed from their homes following abuse and neglect. Essentially, CASAs help ensure the children are safe, have their needs met through services, and ultimately are in a nurturing, permanent placement where they can thrive.
CASAs visit the children at least once a month. They also talk with others involved in the child’s life, including social workers, foster parents, teachers, and family service providers. They put what they learn into a report for the judge, make recommendations about placement and services, and attend hearings to support the child and answer any questions.
People interested in volunteering begin by completing an application, interviewing with the program coordinator, and undergoing background checks. More than 30 hours of both individual and group training sessions are then provided to give the volunteer an understanding of the foster care system, the court system, and different family and social issues.
If people are interested in making a difference in the life of a child and they have the time and compassion to give, they can call (515) 281-3633 and ask questions about becoming a CASA. People can also visit www.childadvocacy.iowa.gov to learn more.