The Court Appointed Special Advocates of the 20th Judicial District (CASA 20th) have many community volunteers who do outstanding work each and every day to give a voice to the most vulnerable children in our community. Today however, they are recognizing a volunteer advocate who has served the organization and community for 11 years.
Pam Loyd first became a CASA advocate after reading an article in the Log Cabin Democrat about the CASA program.
"It broke my heart to think that innocent children could be abused and neglected. I believe that every child deserves to grow up safe, secure and happy," she said. "With our own family grown and less demands on my time, I felt the need to become an advocate for children."
After completing the 30 hour training program Pam began serving on her first case.
What followed was 11 years of dedicated service. During this time Loyd has served on 15 different cases and been a voice for 30 abused and neglected children. When asked about the most memorable moment Loyd thinks for a while and then talks about a case that was open for many years.
"Everyone thought these girls would end up in foster care until they turned 18," Loyd said. "But then all of the sudden their mother got serious about getting help and really turned things around and the girls we reunited. I never thought it would be possible, but they are so happy and safe."
Today Loyd is still serving on cases and being a voice for the abused end neglected children in our community. She is a mentor for new advocates and is trying to make a difference in our community. When asked why she continues to serve she said "because, unfortunately, the need is still there. Whenever a child is being abused or neglected they need somebody to stand up and care. I feel that I am a very small part of the process. Working with the court system from the caseworkers and attorneys to the judges has been an enlightening experience. Each of these individuals cares deeply and works so hard for the welfare of the children. At times these cases can become extremely emotional. It is rewarding to see a case close with children placed in a safe permanent home. Some biological parents turn their lives around and show the ability and willingness to put their children first. In other cases I have witnessed relatives and adoptive parents step up to provide children a forever family. My supervisors are always there to listen, advise and encourage. The CASA staff and fellow volunteers are an awesome extended family that I am proud to be part of."
To learn more about the CASA 20th program and how to become an advocate, contact the Children’s Advocacy Alliance at 501.328.3347 or visit www.hopeandjustice.org. The Children’s Advocacy Alliance of North Central Arkansas is an independent nonprofit serving Faulkner, Van Buren, Searcy, Pope and Conway counties. Originally founded in 2000 as CASA of the 20th Judicial District, the Children’s Advocacy Alliance oversees both the Central Arkansas Children’s Advocacy Center and the CASA 20th Judicial District program. The two programs work side by side to provide coordinated guidance, treatment and support for child victims of abuse and neglect, from the initial investigation of abuse to their placement in a safe, permanent home.
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