Column: There’s no place like hope for the holidays
Think of the holiday season… for most people, happy memories come to mind and being surrounded by loved ones. For children in the foster care system it can be a harsh reminder of what is missing – family.
There are more than 14,000 children in Arizona spending the holidays away from their parents and often their siblings too. While caretakers may try to make the day special, all the excitement of the holidays can leave children in foster care feeling very alone. With the help of the community, more children can find hope for the holidays.
If you find it in your heart this holiday season, this is an invitation to join CASA, in whatever capacity you can. Not a single one of us has the power to change these children’s past — what they have seen, what they have done, what they have suffered.
Every one of us has the power to change their future. All it takes is the heart to do so.
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA advocates) are everyday community members who donate their time to be the voice for a child. CASA volunteers are the eyes and ears of the judge in the community. Children with a CASA advocate are more likely to find a safe, permanent home, more likely to succeed in school, and are half as likely to re-enter the foster care system.
No specific background or training is needed to become a volunteer CASA advocate. Anyone 21 years of age or older, who can pass a thorough background check and complete 30 hours of free training, is encouraged to apply.