Capital Area CASA needs volunteers

Court Appointed Special Advocates
Court Appointed Special Advocates(WAFB)
Published: Dec. 1, 2022 at 5:14 PM CST

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The Court Appointed Special Advocates wants to make sure no child is left behind in the foster care system.

The Capital Area CASA Association is looking for volunteers to support children in the system.

“They have a lot of fears. One told me the other day that she hates Christmas, and I just had to listen to her and find out why. It’s because she is worried about her om, her birth mother and that is she is not going to be there for her,” explains Lou Ann Townsend.

Townsend has been a CASA volunteer for the past six years.

“I give them the knowledge that I am going to be with them no matter where they go. So, when they leave a home, they have someone in their lives that they are familiar with because I mean they lose everything,” says Townsend.

A CASA volunteer is someone who watches over a child who is in the foster care system. It’s the volunteer’s duty to be with the child during court proceedings, check on their grades and stay up to date on their doctor’s appointments and just be there when they need it most.

“I love being with the children, I look forward to them just letting them be children. I take them to parks, they love to go to the zoo. Every time I pick them up, they want to know if we can go to the zoo, even if it’s 100 degrees,” adds Townsend.

Townsend takes care of 7-year-old twins, but there are many other children in the system who still need a volunteer.

“We are seeing a waitlist, which we have not had since prior to COVID, the numbers of children who need a CASA volunteer seem to be increasing by the month,” says Allison Traxler who is the executive director of Capital Area CASA.

Traxler says they have a total of 130 volunteer vacancies, back in July of 2021 there were only 50 open spots.

“We are really looking for anyone who has the time to commit. It’s about 8-10 hours a month of visits with the child, visits with their family, incorporating the information that you gather into court reports,” explains Traxler.

CASA hopes to reduce the number of children waiting for a volunteer as soon as possible, having one more volunteer means more support for a child in the foster care system.

CASA’s next training session will be on January 10, 2023. If you are interested in signing up to be a volunteer click here.

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