The new year brings a sense of hope for things to better this year than in the last. Court Appointed Special Advocates of the 20th Judicial District are hoping they can make this come true for the abused and neglected children from our community who are currently stuck in the child protective services system awaiting placement in a safe, permanent home. 

For these children, 2010 is a big unknown. They do not know if they will see their siblings again or even if they will go to bed at night in the same place they woke up. 

Fortunately there is something we can do to help in the child’s life become a little more stable and a little less daunting.

CASA advocates are everyday citizens who are able to volunteer an average of 15 hours a month. The advocate meets regularly with the child to develop a trust based relationship that ensures the child has a consistent adult presence in their life. Additionally, the advocate presents to the judge at each hearing a fact based report that identifies the child’s needs and makes a recommendation for placement in a safe, permanent home.  

A CASA advocate is only assigned to a maximum of two cases at any time, which ensures the child receives the attention they desperately need and deserve. 

To learn more about becoming a CASA advocate please stop by the CASA 20th office – 2324 Washington Ave, Conway (formally Henry Hawk and Associates) on Tueaday between 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. 

The CASA 20th staff will be on hand to explain in detail the advocate’s role and answer any questions. Training for new advocates will begin on Jan. 19. 

You can also learn more by visiting www.casa20th.org or call 328.3347. 

Help make a difference in the lives of the abused and neglected children in our community.