Mason County News
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Resolve to Help Others
Become a CASA Volunteer
Wednesday, January 25, 2012 • Posted January 25, 2012

Often folks greet the New Year with a list of resolutions they’ve made … to lose weight, to quit drinking and/or smoking, to get fit, to enjoy life, to help people.Guess what resolutions can be found on the list of a child in foster care? To do better so he or she can go home to their family or get adopted by a new one; to do better in school, and; to be nicer and not get mad all the time.What if your resolution to help people would help a foster child realize his or her resolutions? You can keep your resolution to help people by becoming a CASA volunteer – a Court Appointed Special Advocate ®. You can speak up for a child in the foster care system.This year, more than 43,000 children will be in the Texas foster care system. Some of them will be in the system for a short time. Others will be going on their second, third or even longer years in care. None of them are there because they want to be. None of them should grow up in foster care. All of them are in a confusing and scary system because there has been evidence of abuse and neglect in their lives. They enter foster care because adults in their lives have failed to care for and protect them.Their futures are determined by people in an overburdened and underfunded system, which means sometimes children get lost and their needs overlooked. A CASA volunteer’s’ job is to change that. After going through background checks and intensive training, a CASA volunteer is appointed by the court to speak up for what is best for a child in foster care. A CASA volunteer shares a child’s wishes with the court, and after reviewing records and reports and interviewing the child and everyone in the child’s life, makes recommendations to the court about what that child needs.Often a CASA volunteer makes a difference in a child’s life by making sure the child gets the therapy needed so he or she can manage anger and emotions that overwhelm a youngster who has lost everything in his or her life. CASA volunteer looks after a child’s educational needs so that the child has the opportunity to succeed in school. Also, a CASA volunteer can advocate for the parents to get then counseling and other services they need so the child/children can be returned to them. Foster children who have CASA volunteers typically have shorter stays in the foster system, which is good for the children and good for the taxpayers. Keep at least one resolution this year. Become a CASA volunteer or support your local CASA program. Visit www.bluebonnetcasa.org or www.BecomeACASA.org or call Jenna Jacoby or Lisa Goehmann at 325-347-6474. Lift up a child’s voice….a child’s life.

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