Every May, CASA of Texarkana honors mothers for the compassion and love they have unselfishly provided. While they take the time to celebrate and reflect on the support that we sometimes take for granted, there are children struggling in the child welfare system without a caring mother or mother figure in their lives.

For these children there is no celebration on Mother’s Day – only heartache, as many of them have been separated from their family due to abuse or neglect. Now facing an overburdened system alone, they need someone to guide and support them during this challenging time.

That someone is a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate®) volunteer, a dedicated member of the community appointed by a judge to speak up on behalf of a child’s best interest. A CASA volunteer provides the stability and familiarity a child needs during their transitions through the foster care system. The local CASA for Children is one of the 71 CASA programs across the state that recruits and trains volunteers to advocate for children in care.

“In many cases, a CASA volunteer is the one consistent presence in a child’s life while he or she is in the foster care system,” said Danita Abernathy, executive director of CASA for Children – Texarkana. “That volunteer often fills the role of a parental figure by providing much-needed support and guidance.”

By getting to know the child personally and speaking with everyone involved in the child’s life, the CASA volunteer can make well-informed and holistic placement recommendations to the court with the goal of finding the child a safe, permanent and loving home as quickly as possible.

“This Mother’s Day, we hope you join us in celebrating the volunteers in our community that continue to help lead our children to brighter futures,” said Danita Abernathy.

As a way to honor your mother or another special person in your life, consider volunteering for a child in need. Last year, 92 CASA volunteers served 394 children in the child welfare system in southwest Arkansas and northeast Texas, but twice as many children still need a volunteer to advocate for their best interests.

 

You can help break the cycle of abuse from one generation to another. Become involved with CASA for Children to learn how you can become a positive role model in a foster child’s life.

Take advantage of one of CASA’s next information sessions to learn more about the role of a CASA volunteer: May 6th and May 7th at 9:00am and 5:30pm on both days; and again on Saturday, May 9th at 10:00am. All five information sessions will be held at the Texarkana CASA for Children office located at 1201 Main Street. You can find more information at www.casatexarkana.org or by calling 903-792-1030.