More than 900 children in foster care in Washoe County, with only 100 CASAs in community
Reno – The Washoe CASA Foundation is in need of new volunteers to assist our community by serving as a voice for abused and neglected children.
#Coffee4CASA will be held on Saturday, December 3rd to raise awareness and recruit new volunteers for the Washoe County CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) Program. From 8 a.m. – 2 p.m., Swill Coffee & Wine at 3366 Lakeside Ct, Reno, Nev. 89509, and LightHouse Coffee at 7689 South Virginia Street Suite E, Reno, Nev. 89511 will be hosts to Washoe CASA information centers so people can find out more about how to become involved.
CASAs are court-appointed special advocates for the Washoe County courts, and after training, volunteers are empowered directly by the courts to offer judges critical information they need to ensure that a child’s rights and needs are being attended to while in foster care. Volunteers stay with children until they are placed in loving permanent homes.
“We have a strong need for more volunteers to become a part of Washoe CASA,” said Jenna Dewar, Washoe CASA Foundation vice chair and CASA volunteer. “More than 900 children are in foster care in Washoe County, and with just shy of 100 CASAs in our community, an immediate need for recruitment of new volunteers exists.”
Every day in Washoe County, far too many children become victims of abuse or neglect. Sometimes abuse or neglect comes at the hands of parents or guardians, causing law enforcement or social services to remove children from their home and place them into foster care.
“Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) – CASAs are trained community volunteers whose advocacy over the last 25 years has proven to change the lives of foster children,” said Mary Herzik, Second Judicial District Court family services manager. “CASA provides a powerful voice for these children within the court system, speaking up for their best interests and helping the court obtain a firsthand understanding of the situation and needs of the child.”
Informational cards about how to become a CASA volunteer, how to donate and how to become a Friend of CASA will be available at each table. #Coffee4CASA coffee sleeves will be used with all drinks purchased. Volunteers from Kappa Alpha Theta will be in attendance to answer questions about Washoe CASA. Kappa Alpha Theta supports CASA nationally.
Intern and Kappa Alpha Theta volunteer, Caroline Boorman, shares her favorite part of participating in #Coffee4CASA. “What makes #Coffee4CASA so special is the ability to meet a complete stranger, yet have a connection with them through CASA and through the desire to help children who don’t have a voice,” she said.
The Washoe County CASA Program is one of 949 state and local CASA organizations that recruit, train and support CASA volunteers to serve as a voice for abused and neglected children. The Washoe CASA Foundation provides funding for volunteer training, recruitment and community awareness. The Foundation’s financial support has enabled CASA volunteers to secure needed services for their child such as after school tutoring, paying for a recreational program or purchasing clothes or school supplies.
For more information about #Coffee4CASA and the Washoe CASA Foundation, please call 775.574.8820 or visit washoecasafoundation.com.
About Washoe CASA Foundation:
The Washoe CASA Foundation’s mission is to support the Washoe County CASA Program through fundraising, advocacy, outreach and community awareness. The Washoe County CASA Program in the Second Judicial District Court is dedicated to the safety, well-being and best interests of abused, neglected and dependent children who are the subject of judicial proceedings. Appointed by the court, CASA volunteers work diligently to determine what is in the best interest of the child and ensure that positive outcomes are achieved. The CASA volunteer’s commitment is to only one or two children at a time. Low caseloads mean advocates can give each child’s case the personal attention that is often not possible in the social services system.