POSTED: Thursday, May 10, 2012 - 2:00am
UPDATED: Thursday, May 10, 2012 - 2:04am
Baton Rouge, La — Governor Bobby Jindal proclaimed the month of May as CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocates, month for Louisiana, acknowledging the service of some 2,000 volunteers who stand up for children in the foster care system.
In proclaiming May as CASA month for Louisiana, Governor Jindal acknowledged CASA’s service as “powerful voices on behalf of over 3,700 abused and neglected children in Louisiana.”
All over Louisiana community citizens volunteer their time to speak up for the best interests of a child who is in the foster care system. CASA volunteers are community citizens who, regardless of formal education or work backgrounds, have made a commitment to stand up for a child by speaking up for the child’s best interest in court.
The Governor’s proclamation also serves as a call to action for the community- at-large to volunteer with CASA. By giving just a couple of hours per week, a volunteer can change a life for a child.
“We (CASA) are honored to have Governor Jindal recognize the service of our volunteers and express support of the mission of CASA in Louisiana,” offered Dr. John Wyble, executive director, Louisiana CASA, “but in addition to the goodwill of CASA volunteers, we know that CASA is effective and improves outcomes for children served by our program.”
Independent research shows having a CASA volunteer dramatically affects permanency outcomes for children. Children with CASA volunteers are substantially less likely to spend time in long-term foster care. A child with a CASA volunteer is also more likely to be adopted. The possibility of a child re-entering the child welfare system after being reunified with his/her family is reduced by half if a CASA is involved and, more than 90% of children with CASA volunteers never re-enter foster care, a success which demonstrates that CASA prevents repeat maltreatment.