Letter: CASA needs you
Being a CASA/GAL, which stands for Court Appointed Special Advocate/Guardian Ad Litem, is one of the most rewarding and awe-inspiring experiences anyone can have. It brings surprise, challenge, education, friends, support and the opportunity to give back to a child who desperately needs a supportive adult in their life. Being a CASA is a huge responsibility. You are the one consistent adult in the child’s chaotic life advocating for what is in the child’s best interest in the courts of law.
CASA/GAL is all volunteer. You do not need a legal or social work background. CASAs come from all walks of life and are in every life stage. CASAs need to be 21 years of age with a high school education or its equivalent, believe that every child deserves a safe permanent home and are willing to volunteer to advocate for a child’s best interest. CASAs receive 40 hours of training and have the support of a supervisor and other CASA/GALs every step of the way.
As a CASA, you will attend all court hearings, held about once every three months, get to know your child as well as talk to those who are involved with your child’s life: parents, relatives, foster parents, teachers, medical professionals, social workers and more. Except for the time of the court appearances, your time can be flexible. You will commit to advocate for your child’s best interest until they are in a safe, permanent home, averaging about 22 months.
There is a critical need for more volunteers in every New Hampshire community. Please learn more about the program by viewing the website, www.casanh.org, download the application or call Diane Valladares, training and recruitment director, at (800) 626-0622 for more information.
You will bring positive change to the lives of children and in doing so, you will enrich your own as well.
JO ANN McCALISTER