Louisiana CASA receives grant to strengthen Advocacy For Youth In Foster Care

Staff Writer
Donaldsonville Chief
Pictured (L-R): Michael Piraino, CEO, National CASA; Senator Mary Landrieu, and Dr. John Wyble, executive director, Louisiana CASA

BATON ROUGE  - Recently, National CASA and Senator Mary Landrieu joined Louisiana CASA Association (LACASA) to announce a federal grant to support recruitment and awareness of the need for CASA volunteers to advocate on behalf of youth in foster care.   Funds from the grant will support recruitment through partnerships with local media so more children in Louisiana's foster care system can be served by CASA volunteers.  To learn how you can become a CASA volunteer visit www.louisianacasa.org or call 888.567.2272.

"Our volunteers are the heart of our program and represent citizens from all walks of life, doing extraordinary volunteer work for children," stated Dr. John Wyble, executive director, LACASA.  "Even with the incredible number of volunteers we have now, we desperately need more volunteers so every child in the foster care system can have a CASA volunteer.  Thanks to Senator Landrieu's leadership and National CASA's recognition of our quality work, more Louisiana youth will be served

Volunteering with CASA

The CASA program positively impacts the lives of children by training volunteers to speak up for the child’s best interest. Many times there is not one consistent adult who is a voice in the child’s life.  CASA volunteers are men and women who want to help the children in their community. They come from all walks of life ... have a variety of backgrounds ... young and old ... working and retired ... are all volunteers ... and they all have the same desire ... to make a difference in the life of an abused or neglected child.

The volunteer gets to know all aspects of the child’s life and then lets the judge and others in the system know the child’s perspective as well as the child’s needs.

Following training, being a CASA volunteer only takes 8-10 hours of time each month. A CASA volunteer provides individualized one-on-one advocacy and works with all agencies and parties involved to gather information and to provide an independent report for the Court with recommendations based solely upon the child’s best interest. Without CASA volunteers, many abused children spend their lives moving from one foster home to another, never having a family to call their own.

Louisiana’s children are in urgent need of CASA volunteers; please call today.  To become a CASA in your parish or to learn more about CASA, call 1-888-567-2272 or visit www.louisianacasa.org