There’s a vocation shortage of sorts effecting children in Arizona’s foster care system, particularly the boys.
Only 22 percent of current Court Appointed Special Advocates in Maricopa County are male. Yet more than half of the county’s 13,000 foster children are boys who could benefit from having a positive male role model in their lives.
CASA volunteers are men and women who typically visit with one child or sibling group at a time, as well as anyone involved with his of her life. That could include visits with foster parents, teachers and doctors and compiling a report to help a judge determine the child’s best interest.
Right now there are only 530 advocates to cover a local foster care system at least 24 times that size. CASA of Maricopa County and Voices for CASA Children hope to recruit at least 200 new Court Appointed Special Advocates.
Want to learn more to help you discern a call to serve?
6-8 p.m. July 19
TechShop at ASU Chandler Innovation Center
249 E. Chicago Street 85225
Guests will be able to meet Commissioner Owens with the Maricopa County Superior Court, get all their questions answered by program staff and current CASA volunteers, and tour the cutting-edge TechShop.
Live outside of Maricopa County?
A Court Appointed Special Advocate serves as the eyes and ears of the judge and submits a report before each court hearing with recommendations about the child’s best interest. A CASA volunteer is often the most consistent person in a foster child’s life and is especially valuable because he or she typically focuses on one child or sibling group at a time.
Rough time commitment is 15-20 hours per month. CASA volunteers are asked to dedicate themselves to a case until it is closed. The average case lasts about a year and a half. Learn more. You could also contact St. Paul parishioners for more information. They shared their info in a recent parish bulletin:
Ralph Fecke or Lin Stoudt, firstname.lastname@example.org or (623) 582-4610
Children with a CASA volunteer assigned to their case are more likely to receive services, spend less time in the child welfare system and are less likely to return to foster care. The number of children in care continues to rise, putting further burden on the child welfare system and creating an even greater need for volunteer advocates.