CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) seeks volunteer advocates who want to make a difference in the life of a foster child. CASA for Children of Mercer County and Burlington Counties is a non-profit organization committed to speaking up in court for the best interests of children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse and neglect. CASA works through trained community volunteers to insure that needed services and assistance are made available while helping to move the child into a safe and permanent home.
Referred to as the eyes and ears of family court, CASA volunteers are appointed by a judge to ensure that the medical, educational, mental health and recreational needs are met for children while they are in the foster care system. At one point last year there were more than 1,000 children in out-of-home placement (foster care and residential facilities), in Mercer and Burlington Counties. The ultimate goal of CASA is to help find safe and permanent homes for the children they serve.
The main requirement for prospective CASA volunteers is that they are people with a desire to help abused children. CASA volunteers will receive training from professionals in the legal and welfare fields; volunteers will also have the complete support of the CASA organization to help them through their individual cases.
CASA volunteers should be at least 21 years of age, able to communicate effectively and pass national, state and local background checks as well as sex offender and child abuse registry checks. CASA provides 30 hours of training in both Burlington and Mercer Counties in order to become a child advocate for one child or sibling group. CASA’s spring training will begin in April.
To learn more about volunteer opportunities at CASA for children of Mercer and Burlington Counties, information sessions will be held in the Mercer County office located at 1450 Parkside Ave., Suite 22, Ewing, on March 8, March 20 and April 3.
An information session in the Burlington County Office located in 129 High Street, Suite 28, Mount Holly, will be held Feb. 21.
To learn more details about the information sessions, call 609-434-0050 or email: [email protected]. or visit www.casamercer.org.
CASA of Mercer and Burlington Counties’ are also in need of volunteers to help out at the fifth annual CASA Kids 5K and Family Run scheduled for May 19 at the Princeton Pike Corporate Center, Lawrenceville. The one-mile Fun Run will begin at 8:30 a.m. and the USATF Sanctioned 5K will start at 9 a.m. To learn more about the race, contact Randy Kirkpatrick at 609.434.0050 or e-mail: [email protected] for more information.
Is your parish, school or charitable organization in need of volunteers. Put out a call through The Monitor’s Faith In Action forum. Send all requests to [email protected]. Type FAITH IN ACTION into the subject line.[[In-content Ad]]