The effects of domestic violence are far-reaching not just for the partners involved but also for the children who may witness it. Witnessing violence by seeing, hearing, or observing the aftermath can leave children feeling anxious, fearful and angry. Often these situations become so volatile the children must be removed from their homes and put into the care of the state, exacerbating those feelings.
Children coming from domestic violence situations need caring, consistent adults to listen to them and help navigate their feelings. When a child comes into the foster care system that person is often the Court Appointed Special Advocate, or CASA.
CASA advocates are every day community members who volunteer their time to get to know a child in the foster care system. They visit the child monthly, develop a relationship with them, and research the reasons the child was brought into care. CASA advocates work as part of the court team to help identify the best solution for that child. Because a CASA advocate typically focuses on one case at a time, they are often the most consistent person in the child's life while in care.
Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October is the perfect time to learn the warning signs of domestic abuse and find a way to help a survivor in your community. CASA of Pinal County is always in need of volunteers to advocate for kids with this kind of history. Unit Supervisor Donna McBride shares, "We have nearly 80 dedicated CASA advocates in Pinal County, but we need more. Our children deserve someone to be their voice during such a troubling time in their young lives."
Court Appointed Special Advocate CASA advocates must be 21 years of age or older, pass a thorough background check and complete 30 hours of pre-service training. Advocates usually spend about 15 hours per month working on their case and are asked to stick with the case for its duration. For more information on CASA visit CASAofPinalCounty.org or contact Ashley Flores at 520-866-7080.BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS