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CASA in Need of New Volunteers

CASA of Northeast Louisiana is holding two new volunteer training classes in February to ready enough volunteers to serve 100 local children currently in need of an advocate.
Monroe -- CASA of Northeast Louisiana is holding two new volunteer training classes in February to ready enough volunteers to serve 100 local children currently in need of an advocate.

CASA is offering day and night training options to better fit the lifestyles of potential volunteers. CASA volunteer training consists of four, three-hour classes spread out over four weeks. For those who prefer to train during the day, the class is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, February 4th and continues the following three Tuesday mornings. . The night training begins Thursday, February 6th and is from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and runs through the following three Thursday nights. A meal will be provided during both trainings.

“There are currently 100 local children in need of a CASA advocate,” said Chris Ramsey, Program Coordinator for CASA of Northeast Louisiana. “These children have been abused or neglected and are in foster care through no fault of their own,” he said, adding “The judge has a requested a CASA volunteer for these cases, but we simply don’t have enough trained volunteers at this time.”

No previous experience is required to become a Court Appointed Special Advocate. By volunteering for just 5-10 hours per month, Advocates can make a lifelong difference for a local child.

The goal of CASA is that each child served will find a safe, permanent home as quickly as possible. Too often, children languish for years in the foster care system, with no hope of finding a permanent home or having a normal childhood. Studies have shown that when a CASA is involved a child’s chances of finding a permanent home are doubled.

The role of a CASA is to act as an extra pair of eyes and ears for the judge, collecting information through observation and interviews with key players in the child’s life and then reporting back to the judge. To become a CASA, you must be at least 21 years old and pass a federal background check. CASA volunteers devote an average of 5-10 hours to their child’s case monthly.

If you are interested in becoming a Court Appointed Special Advocate, please call Jessica Bryant today 398-0945.
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