PREBLE COUNTY — Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) and Guardian Ad Litems (GAL) will be observed on CASA/GAL Volunteer’s Day on Tuesday, May 18.
CASA/GAL Volunteer’s Day provides an opportunity for Preble County CASA to honor and thank our CASA/GAL volunteers who work hard to ensure Preble County children and youth, who have been placed in foster care as a result of experiencing abuse or neglect, have their voices heard everyday.
This day also gives the residents of Preble County the chance to better understand the critical role a CASA/GAL volunteer plays in the lives of young people, and inspire others to contribute their time to support children who may be in/or at-risk of child welfare involvement.
Members of Congress will recognize CASA/GAL Volunteer’s Day on Capitol Hill, and National CASA/GAL and FosterStrong with host a virtual celebration for all CASA/GAL volunteers.
Preble County CASA serves all the Preble County area. It supports more than 30 highly trained CASA volunteers in their service to children, youth and their families. National CASA serves more young people in the child welfare system than any other organization.
In Preble County, CASA/GAL volunteers advocate for the best interest of children before the court as a result of allegations of abuse or neglect. These children range in age from birth through the age of emancipation.
Our volunteers are people, from all walks of life, who have been rigorously screened and trained extensively. Each volunteer receives more than 30 hours of training before they work with a child, with an additional 12 hours of continued education required annually. Volunteers receive ongoing support to help them advocate effectively on a child’s behalf.
Since 2010, CASA/GAL volunteers from across the country have donated nearly 60 million hours advocating on behalf of children who have experienced abuse or neglect.
A CASA/GAL volunteer, appointed by a judge, provides the court with the comprehensive and objective information the court needs to make the most well-informed decisions and help ensure positive outcomes for children and youth. These individuals not only advocate for children within the court, child welfare and school systems, but also form relationships with them that last for years.
CASA/GAL volunteers take the time to get to know the child at heart with each case. They also work in partnership with legal and child welfare professionals, educators and service providers to ensure that the child has what he or she needs to heal and thrive.
Most of the children CASA/GAL volunteers work with are in foster care, but some are with their family of origin. And, most children who leave foster care do so to return to their family.
A number of the children who age out of the foster care system will maintain a relationship with their CASA/GAL volunteer into adulthood.
Since the onset of COVID-19 pandemic, Preble County CASA volunteers have remained committed to providing best-interest advocacy for children who have experienced abuse or neglect.
On any given day, there are nearly 424,000 children in foster care in the United States. A child in foster care, on average, will move into multiple homes and attend multiple schools. All this chaos and inconsistency has long-term effects.
Children and youth who have spent time in the foster care system are more likely to face incarceration, homelessness and unemployment. They are less likely to graduate high school and more likely to be victims of human trafficking. However, with the support of a caring and consistent adult like a CASA volunteer, these young people can press on and embrace their inner resilience and strength.
A child in foster care may have faced physical, psychological and/or emotional trauma only to endure long periods of uncertainty in the system as they wait to go home, be adopted or simple see what happens next. But having a caring, consistent adult-someone who listens, checks in and puts the child’s best interests before all others’-can make all the difference.
If you would like to become a voice for the children and become a CASA volunteer call 937-456-2885 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit our website at prebcocasa.org