Economic hardship correlates to rising incidents of child abuse
LAS VEGAS – The Nevada CASA Association announces Nevada faces a critical shortage of volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) to serve as the voices for children in the foster care system. With a direct correlation linking economic hardship with incidents of child abuse and neglect, new CASA volunteers are urgently needed.
A CASA is a trained volunteer, sworn in and appointed to a specific case by a family court judge. CASA volunteers advocate on behalf of their child(ren)’s physical, educational, medical, emotional and social needs. CASA volunteers research information and talk to everyone involved in the children’s lives. Each CASA spends approximately eight to 10 hours each month on their case, and have contact with social workers, attorneys, parents, teachers, family members, foster parents, health professionals and, of course, the children themselves.
“Precedent indicates during times of economic stress for families, incidents of child abuse rise,” said Jane Saint, executive director, Nevada CASA Association. “Already, we have a backlog of cases awaiting assignment of a CASA volunteer. When we emerge from the pandemic restrictions, we anticipate the need will be even greater.”
In addition to serving as part of the child(ren)’s case team, CASA volunteers establish a relationship with their child(ren), getting to know his or her unique history, while providing consistency and stability during an extremely difficult time in their child(ren)’s lives. CASA volunteers are asked to remain with their child(ren) until a permanent home is achieved.
“When I found out about the enormous need for advocates to be a voice for children in foster care, I had to volunteer,” said CASA volunteer Lisa Coruzzi. “The experience is not always easy, but it ranks among the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. As a CASA, you have substantial opportunities to positively affect the outcome of a child’s case, ensuring they thrive in a safe, permanent home.”
To learn more about CASA volunteer opportunities, visit https://www.nvcasa.org/get-involved/.