CASA Volunteers Work for Child Victims
Written by dariandudrick on April 26, 2021
A local nonprofit that advocates for children who are victims of abuse and neglect is always looking for volunteers.
With April being National Child Abuse Prevention Month, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of the 5th Judicial District (which includes Park, Big Horn, Hot Springs and Washakie counties) was discussed Monday morning on KODI’s “Speak Your Piece with Darian Dudrick.”
“When a child has been deemed abused or neglected by the court system, they then can appoint a CASA (advocate),” said Megan Klym, CASA of the 5th Judicial District executive director. “Through that appointment, you give that child an advocate – you help give that child a voice.”
Volunteer advocates are not only a voice for the child during the legal process, but they answer to other needs of the child (18 and younger), assist foster parents or grandparents, and provide much-needed stability to a child during a turbulent time.
The local CASA currently has 38 volunteer advocates, Klym said, but always is looking for more. More volunteers make it easier to match an advocate with a child.
CASA has advocated for more than 250 children in the Big Horn Basin since 2011.
“A child who has a CASA (advocate) is less likely to re-enter the system; they have higher number of services – such as counseling and developmental services; they have better outcomes academically and behaviorally; they have better positive social relationships; and, the one that’s most important to me, these children have higher levels of optimism and hope,” Klym said, citing 2019 statistics from the national CASA organization.
The local CASA is conducting a raffle this month, with the winner taking home various prizes. Tickets are $10 each and are available at The Thistle, or the Cody or Powell chambers of commerce. The drawing is April 30.
Listen to the show here: here