(6/27/19) WEST MONROE, La. — When adversity enters a child’s life, having someone to turn to is crucial for assuring them that everything is going to be okay. One local group who works to ensure stability for every abused or neglected child is being honored in this month’s Pay It Forward.

A child’s innocence has no place being locked in a courtroom battle. CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocates, is an organization that steps in to maintain some sense of normalcy for foster children or children who have been abused.

Anna Shamblin with CASA’s Northeast Louisiana program says that passion is what lead her to join the non-profit

“Our volunteers visit the children at least once a month. They work with key players in the child’s life- doctors, teacher’s therapists,” said Shamblin.

The duty falls on their shoulders to figure out what may be in that child’s best interests and coordinate with a judge to make it happen.

157 volunteers currently work with the local non-profit but take on a commitment that far exceeds that of just an advocate. In some cases working with a baby mere weeks old to the time when they are able to walk and talk.

Last year, CASA of Northeast Louisiana served over 400 kids in 204 cases.

The group now has a solid path forward to train more volunteers opening the door for more children to come under their care.

Shamblin said, “It is so exciting and we are so thankful for it. We don’t have a lot of opportunities to fundraise for ourselves, so when we do get something it’s a really big deal to us.”

CASA of Northeast Louisiana is always in need of new volunteers and training classes are held each month.

If you would like to join the cause, call (318)-398-0945 or visit www.casaofnela.org.