CASA of Monmouth County seeks volunteers

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) ofMonmouthCounty seeks volunteers for abused and neglected children.

There are currently 581 children in Monmouth County who have been removed from their homes because of abuse or neglect. Although CASA continues to servemore of these children each year, the need for volunteers continues to grow as more children enter the child welfare and court systems. To help meet this need, the programis looking for some special people who are willing to take on an important role for abused children.

CASA volunteers are advocates for abused children involved in the court system. Caring, committed adults who are willing to speak up for a child as they go through the court system are needed. Volunteers serve one child at a time, by advocating for that child’s best interests.

Essentially, CASA volunteers “speak up” for these children in the court and child welfare systems,making sure they are safe and well cared for, are getting the services they need, and are placed in a permanent, safe, nurturing home as quickly as possible. These children may also have health, learning, emotional, or psychological challenges, and need special services that the judge,who determines their fate, should be aware of.

CASAvolunteersmake sure that those making decisions for children have the most accurate and up-to-date information and are able to make the best decisions possible.

“CASAvolunteers don’t require any specific education.All they need is compassion, objectivity and a commitment to children. We’ll train and supervise them to be effective voices in court,” said Cindi Van Brunt, executive director for CASA of Monmouth County. “Our volunteers come from all walks of life, and diverse socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds.They are ordinary individuals who rise to the extraordinary bymaking a difference in the life of a child.”

Anyone interested in volunteer opportunities should visit www.casaofmonmouth. org for more information and contact Beata at (732) 460-9100 or beata@casaofmonmouth.org. Trainingwill begin at the end ofMarch.

CASAofMonmouth County is part of a statewide network of community-based, nonprofit programs that recruit, screen, train and supervise volunteers to speak up for a child who has been removed from home due to abuse or neglect. CASAis the only program in New Jersey that uses trained volunteers, appointed by the Family Court, to serve one child at a time, ensuring that the child gets the services needed and achieves permanency in a safe, nurturing home. Since 2005, CASA of Monmouth County has made a difference for over 80 abused or neglected children.