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Touch the life of a child

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Would you like to touch the life of a child subjected to abuse and/or neglect? Perhaps you could be a Court Appointed Special Advocate.

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of the 7th Judicial District is part of a national network of 951 community-based programs that recruit, train and support citizen-volunteers to advocate in courtrooms and communities for the best interests of abused and neglected children. Volunteer advocates -- empowered directly by the courts -- offer judges critical information that is often used to ensure that each child's rights and needs are being attended to while in foster care.

Volunteers are asked to serve the child or sibling group until they are placed in loving permanent homes. For many abused children, a CASA volunteer is the only constant adult presence in their lives. The volunteer visits with the child at least twice a month.

Carlton Mason, CASA executive director, reminds us, "It is vital that our communities come together and take care of our own, most vulnerable population -- our children."

CASA's mission is to "help break the cycle of child abuse and neglect, and to advocate for safe, permanent, nurturing homes for children, utilizing highly trained and dedicated volunteers." CASA volunteers undergo extensive training prior to working with any children. For more information about CASA, becoming a CASA volunteer, or to support the CASA program call 249-0337.

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