Aug 28, 2021 12:22 AM

Ottawa, Saline County CASA Program recruiting new volunteers

Posted Aug 28, 2021 12:22 AM

The Ottawa and Saline County CASA Program is offering training this fall for persons interested in becoming a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer.

The program is seeking 18 new volunteers to Change a Child’s Story™.

An informational meeting about CASA volunteer work will take place at the CAPS office, 155 N. Oakdale, Salina, KS on Sept. 8, 2021 at 5:30 pm. Training will commence Sept. 15 at 5:30 pm and every Wednesday until Nov. 3, 2021. People interested in joining the CASA program who cannot attend the informational meeting are encouraged to call the CAPS office at (785) 825-4493 for more information.

CASA volunteers advocate for abused or neglected children who are in the foster care system through no fault of their own. There are currently 36 children being served by 35 CASA volunteers in the 28th judicial district. However, there are nearly 7,000 youth currently in the Kansas foster care system.

Increasing CASA volunteers will increase the likelihood of a child exiting the foster care system faster and staying out of the foster care system longer. According to 2018 data from the Kansas CASA Association, children who had an advocate reached permanent placement faster, when compared with all children in out-of-home placement; 95 percent of kids with a CASA volunteer and stay out of long-term foster care; and 90 percent of kids with a CASA volunteer do not re-enter the child welfare system.

Current Ottawa and Saline County CASA volunteer Libby Charvat said, “This opportunity to volunteer to be a CASA...a changing, loving, supportive force in a young child’s life, during a very turbulent period of their formative years, is a gratifying ministry that you can be involved with and know that you have changed the trajectory of their young lives!”