On January 31, 2017, Judi Foster gave a presentation about what CASA is and does in our community. Pictured above is Judi Foster.
Judi Foster explained that when a child enters the foster care system because his or her home is no longer safe, a judge may appoint a committed volunteer to help them. That volunteer is called a Court Appointed Special Advocate®, or CASA.

CASA volunteers are screened and highly trained and then appointed by judges to represent and advocate for a child’s best interests in the child protection system. CASA volunteers are each assigned to help one child or set of siblings at a time, so they can focus on giving that child or sibling group the individualized advocacy and attention they need. CASA volunteers save taxpayers money and children’s futures by helping children find safe, permanent homes as soon as possible.

Although CASA is a national group their is a local group in our area called CASA Child Advocates of Montgomery County. They provide valuable volunteer advocacy for every abused child in this area. CASA volunteers serve as the “eyes and ears” for the judge in child welfare cases. This includes researching each child’s situation and making objective recommendations to help them reclaim their childhoods from abuse and neglect. CASA volunteers are frequently the only stable presence in these children’s lives as they navigate the foster care system.

These volunteers bring three critical qualities to their work: they focus on one case at a time; they bring a unique perspective to the court case; and their sole objective is representing the best interests of the child. To help the volunteers, there is a com ittee that they can go to to get help in any area needed in order to help their child or siblings.

Judi then told the group about a child she was helping that was having reading problems in school and the grandmother he was staying with just thought he did not like to read. Judi was able to get the child evaluated and it turned out that the problem was really with the child's eyes. The school lights made it hard for the student to see the words. However, if the student simply placed a colored clear plastic sheet over what they were reading, they no longer had a problem. Judi was able to get a school "accomodation" to resolve this problem.

Judi then showed a movie about 4 siblings who had a bad situation at home and had been picked up by CPS and did not want to get split up. By the grace of God, a nice family stepped up and took them in as foster kids initially but eventually adopted all of the siblings into their happy home.

Judi then told everyone that the Child Protection System (CPS) sometimes gets blamed for problems that arise but to be honest, they are simply overwhelmed with the number of cases each one has to handle. The CASA volunteers also help these case workers.

Judi told everyone that the ways to help are by volunteering, giving money, or simply by spreading the word about CASA and the good it does. A number of companies have donated to CASA as a result of an employee making them aware of the need.