LACASA’s Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program celebrated its fifth anniversary with a Jan. 7 reception and awards ceremony.
Part of the National Court Appointed Special Advocates program, CASA provides highly trained community volunteers to advocate for the best interest of children who are in the court system as a result of abuse or neglect. It is the first and only program of its kind in Livingston County.
According to the National CASA Association, a child with a volunteer advocate is half as likely to re-enter foster care and more likely to find a safe, permanent home and to succeed in school.
Since the CASA program was launched at LACASA in 2011, 68 local men and women have completed an intense 30-hour training program to become advocates who volunteer their time, their positive and steady presence and their compassion to benefit abused and neglected children in our community.
Currently, 40 active CASA volunteers are working with children whose cases are in the court system. To date, LACASA’s CASA program has helped more than 137 Livingston County children.
At the January 7 reception, CASA volunteers were recognized for their dedicated service and Shining Star awards were presented to the Livingston County Department of Health and Human Services and 44th Circuit Court for their leadership and support of the CASA program.