If your heart has ever been broken by the tragic stories of abused and neglected children, it may be time for you to take a positive step to make a difference

in a child’s life. Each year, more than 22 children enter the court system in Shelby County only because of abuse and neglect. For most of these children, it is an extraordinarily frightening event and at times can lead to several placements or homes, tremendous emotional turmoil and a lengthy involvement in the child welfare system before the child is able to get settled into a stable family environment.

CASA volunteers, (Court Appointed Special Advocates), are trained volunteers assigned by the court to watch over these children and assure that they find a permanent and safe home as quickly as possible. A quote from Advocates for Children’s Executive director, Therese Miller states, "We are eager to serve every abused and neglected child in the area. The single greatest barrier is having enough volunteers." For many children, the CASA volunteer will be the one constant adult presence- the one who cares only for them.

Currently there are a total of eighty children waiting for an advocate in the five-county region served by Advocates for Children. In our five county region, 80 children are awaiting an advocate. You could make a powerful difference in one of these young lives.

The next training session for CASA volunteers is scheduled to begin in August. Anyone who may be interested in becoming a volunteer child advocate is invited to attend an Information Session in July. The information sessions will answer your questions and explain the CASA role in more detail. Attendance does not mean you are committing to the program or training, but will give you insight into a worthwhile program in your community. The Information Sessions are scheduled at various times and locations. If you are interested in participating or learning more, please call the Advocates for Children office at 812-372-2808 or toll-free at 1-877-604-9402. Email inquires should be addressed to isabeln@apowerfulvoice.org.

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