Johnson City Press Thursday, July 24, 2014
Opinion

You can be a special advocate for a child

March 30th, 2012 8:20 am by Staff Report

For more than two decades, Court Appointed Special Advocates of Northeast Tennessee has assisted in the investigation of child abuse and neglect cases in our area.
These are good children who, through no fault of their own, often become trapped in an already burdened judicial system that is swamped by a heavy caseload.
The mission of CASA volunteers is to see that every child is placed in a safe and stable home. It is a very important task, and one that well-trained CASA volunteers have been performing locally since 1985. It’s because of the work they do that many children have gone from abuse and neglect to safe and nurturing homes.
As we’ve said in this space many times before, case workers from the state Department of Children’s Services are often so buried under cases that they find themselves unable to devote the kind of time they would like to the children they serve.
CASA is a cost-effective approach to dealing with children who may be at risk. The organization would like to do more, but it needs help from you to do so. CASA is looking for community leaders to serve as members of its board of directors. It also needs more volunteers to help act as case workers.
The job of CASA volunteers is to investigate the child’s home environment and talk to neighbors and school officials whenever possible.
And remember, these CASA volunteers are ordinary people like you from a variety of backgrounds. Sadly, only one third of the children nationally who need a caring CASA advocate have one.
You can change that.
For more information on how to help, call CASA at 461-3500 or visit the website at www.casanetn.org.

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