CASA is a great organization! It is not easy by any means, but you truly make a difference in the life of a child. Many children in foster care have so many people coming in and out of their lives. As a CASA, you commit to staying with that child/children through their time in the system. The child/children know they can depend on you. That means the world to them and the impact you can have is immeasurable!
As an advocate for a child, you really can make a difference in their life. Volunteering starts with a training program that is relevant, interesting and prepares you to become an advocate. CASA is a very well run organization with impressive staff. The organization is truly grateful for its volunteers; besides the rewarding feeling associated with helping a child, being appreciated is an extra benefit. I feel so lucky I found CASA Lake County!
I would highly recommend volunteering for this organization. The CASA advocates for children in the foster care system. These children need an adult to "show up" for them. This is a great place to make a difference in children's lives.
Volunteers for CASA Lake County advocate for children who have been abused and/or neglected who are in extremely difficult situations that mainstream adults and families have difficulty comprehending. Oftentimes we are the only true advocate for these children. Our role is to gather as much information as we can, periodically write up reports for the Court, and act on behalf of the child to help bring the case to the best situation possible which may take several years. I was very concerned about my ability to do this as I have no prior related training or education in this field. This is not needed due to the excellent 40 hours of training over a 6 week period and the on-going support by both a personal mentor/manager along with a very hands on and approachable staff. CASA is for committed volunteers who want to make significant differences in the lives of children in extreme need and who want to be challenged personally.
Sometimes you find yourself doing volunteer work and wonder if you are really making a difference in the world around you. That will not happen with CASA. Every adult I have met who had a CASA in their younger years has emphasized how crucial that person was in the topsy-turvy world of foster care.
Being a CASA is a significant commitment (40 hrs of training, then approx 10hrs/mo for minimum of 2 years), but there are supportive roles in the office for those who can't give that much time. The organization is well-run: not a moment of training was wasted; layers of assistance are built in for new volunteers; watchdog organizations rate CASA highly in their use of donated funds.
I am so glad that I found this worthy cause to which I could offer my time and efforts.