Speak up for kids in foster care from your own home
Published 4:50 pm Wednesday, June 24, 2020
To The Leader
ORANGE, Texas – CASA of the Sabine Neches Region is calling for community members to step up and advocate for children and families involved in the child welfare system in our local area.
“Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and physical distancing, many of us have been feeling increased stress, anxiety and isolation. Children involved in the foster care system are no exception,” said Codie Vasquez, Executive Director of CASA of the Sabine Neches Region. “While we can’t physically be by their side right now, we still want the children who is in foster care right here in our community to know they have an advocate on their side. With so much uncertainty in the world, we want to help give these kids peace of mind, stability and connection. We want them to feel safety and comfort.”
Volunteers with CASA of the Sabine Neches Region are known as CASA volunteers, or Court Appointed Special Advocates. These CASA volunteers advocate for a child or sibling group while they are in foster care. CASA volunteers advocate in the courtroom, school and other settings for the best interest of the child they are representing, help them stay connected with their families and communities, and work towards family reunification whenever safe and possible.
Now is a great time to get involved with CASA, Vasquez said. With info sessions, pre-service volunteer training and swearing-in ceremonies currently conducted online, you can make a difference in the lives of children and families in the foster care system—right from your own home.
“COVID-19 has changed how we conduct our advocacy work, but it has not changed our drive and passion to serve the children and families of this community,” said Vasquez. “We are taking precautions with how we conduct our trainings, visits with children and families, volunteer supervision and events to ensure the safety of all involved.”
As a part of their new operating procedures, CASA of the Sabine Neches Region is providing training, advocacy, supervision and courtroom participation through virtual means In addition to this, precautions like closing our office to the public and putting policies in place that insure the health and safety of our staff, volunteers and the families they serve when in-person visits are a necessity to help prevent spread amongst the community.
“We are here to serve the children and families of Orange County. We want to do that as safely as possible for the sake of those we serve, our staff, our volunteers and the greater public,” said Vasquez. “We never want a child in foster care to go without a CASA volunteer, especially now. It is our hope to provide a caring CASA volunteer to serve every child in care. To achieve that goal, we need an additional eighty (80) CASA volunteers in Orange County. Our children need you to stand up and join us in our advocacy.”
If you’ve been looking for a unique and rewarding way to serve your community, join the CASA movement. What better time than now? If you’d like to find out more about becoming a CASA volunteer or other ways to get involved, visit www.casasnr.org or Register at www.casasnr.org/virtual-information-session.html to join our Virtual Zoom Information Session to be held on July the 1st at 10:00am. To enroll in Virtual Volunteer Training visit www.casasnr.org/virtual-training.html. You can also contact our office with any additional questions by calling (409) 886-2272.