(Globe, Ariz.—Dec. 3, 2018) Most holiday celebrations center around being with family and friends but for children in the foster care system it can be a harsh reminder of what is missing.
There are nearly 14,000 children in Arizona spending the holidays away from their parents and often their siblings too. While caretakers may try to make the day special, all the excitement of the holidays can leave children in foster care feeling very alone. With the help of the community more kids could find a permanent home for the holidays.
This holiday season consider giving the gift of advocacy to a child in foster care. Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA advocates) visit the child(ren) regularly and develop a relationship with them. They gather information on the case and report back to the judge to ensure each child has the resources and help they need while in the system and is on track to get into a permanent, loving home as soon as possible.
CASA volunteers are everyday community members who donate their time to be the eyes and ears of the judge in the community. Children with a CASA advocate spend less time in foster care and are half as likely to reenter care.
No specific background or training is needed to become a volunteer CASA advocate. Anyone 21 years of age or older, who can pass a thorough background check and complete 30 hours of free training, is welcome to apply.