CASA Partners 4NMKIDS is in desperate need of local community members to become CASA volunteer advocates.
Though more than 30 children in Valencia County have a volunteer advocating on their behalf in court, more than half of the children in foster care in Valencia County still need an advocate.
CASA Partners 4NMKIDS, an extension of the courts, works alongside the new CYFD leadership to recruit, train and support volunteers who advocate in court for the best interests of children who have experienced abuse or neglect.
Their advocacy enables judges to make the most well-informed decision for each child in the 13th Judicial District.
CASA Partners 4NMKIDS’s mission is to change a child’s story.
“By increasing awareness of how we serve the most vulnerable children in Valencia and Sandoval counties, we hope to find enough volunteers to serve all abused and neglected children in foster care in our community,” said CASA Partners 4NMKIDS Community outreach coordinator Jackie McHale.
“The importance of having a CASA volunteer advocate by their side is priceless. Many children who need our services have experienced trauma and have been moved from home to home.
“CASA provides an advocate who holds their hand every step of the way, providing hope and creating resiliency.
“Advocates give their assigned children a voice and ensure that the wishes and needs of the child are not overlooked by the many competing interests at play.”
Visit casapartners4.org to learn more about becoming a CASA volunteer advocate.
“The number of impacted children is growing. We need more volunteers to support that increasing need,” said CASA Partners 4NMKIDS Executive Director Debra Vanderwerf.
To learn more, visit casadonate.org.
Julia M. Dendinger began working at the VCNB in 2006. She covers Valencia County government, Belen Consolidated Schools and the village of Bosque Farms. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists Rio Grande chapter’s board of directors.