BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The CASA Association that serves East Baton Rouge Parish is in need of volunteers.
The Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) serve as the voice of abused and neglected children who are in the foster care system. The ultimate goal is for those children to be reunited with their biological family or find another permanent home.
CASA volunteers work with one child or a family of children. They spend about 10 to 15 hours with them each month as well as meeting with social workers, attorneys, teachers, doctors and the foster parents to give the court a better picture of how the child is doing.
"They truly become the expert on the child," said Jennifer Mayer, the recruitment coordinator for the association.
She said that right now they have 90 active volunteers and are serving 150 children. Last year, they served 260 children.
"In order to continue serving every child, we are always in need of new volunteers."
Volunteers are trained in a 32-hour class before they are assigned to a case. However, before they can be trained, they must attend a 45-minute orientation class. The next training session is on January 19, 2016.
Mayer said they ask that volunteers give at least a one-year commitment.
"These children are in and out of foster care. They have so many people in and out of their lives."
They prefer their volunteers to be a steady presence in the child's life.
Mayer said they are in particular need of male volunteers as well as African-American volunteers.
Some of the male volunteers on the website said the younger men in foster care need a positive male model in their lives.