Jacksboro, TN, June 15, 2017 --(PR.com
)-- An Estimated 20,000 Tennessee Children Could Benefit from a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA); Campaign Seeks to Grow Volunteer Base to Advocate for More Children
Tennessee Court Appointed Special Advocates (TN CASA) announced the launch of a statewide campaign aimed at attracting volunteers to close the gap between abused and neglected children in need of an advocate to represent their best interests with the goal of securing a safe, permanent home. It is estimated that 20,000 vulnerable children in Tennessee could benefit from a CASA volunteer each year as they seek a permanent solution while navigating the juvenile court system.
“Being a CASA volunteer is one of the most rewarding and meaningful journeys one can take as a volunteer. We need more Tennesseans to decide to be for the child and help serve the tens of thousands of Tennessee children who need an advocate,” said Lynne Farrar, Executive Director of Tennessee CASA. “As a CASA Volunteer, one can be certain of making a lasting difference in a child’s life.”
Across Tennessee, 1,444 TN CASA Volunteers currently serve 5,250 children. After extensive training and with support from the local CASA program, the CASA Volunteer is appointed by the juvenile court and has the authority to talk to all people on behalf of the child to submit a comprehensive, objective report to the court making best interest recommendations. This includes area volunteers based out of the CASA office at 165 East Street in Jacksboro, which is led by Amanda Allen. To reach 20,000 additional children, the number of volunteers in the state will need to triple – a goal TN CASA understands will take time.
“The national slogan for CASA is: I am for the child, which is why our campaign will ask the people of Tennessee to be for the child,” added Farrar. “We want the idea of being for the child synonymous with CASA volunteerism. We hope, over time, this will be a widely recognized volunteer opportunity for people across the state who have the desire to make a positive impact on the life of a child. CASA Volunteers speak up for a child during a traumatic time in their lives. This makes all the difference.”
Messaging for the Be For The Child Volunteer Recruitment Campaign will be integrated and highlighted in various CASA statewide communications throughout the year. The campaign includes a website: BeForTheChild.org and will highlight seven distinct volunteers throughout the state through social media advertising. These special highlighted volunteers include:
· Ann Marie Nordgren, CASA Volunteer, Wilson County
· Nancy Rutledge, CASA Volunteer, Lincoln County
· Karen Goldsmith, CASA Volunteer, Davidson County
· Sylvia Kennedy, CASA Volunteer, Putnam County
· Callie Freeman, CASA Volunteer, Monroe County
· Sherail Boswell, CASA Volunteer, Shelby County
· Chris Clark, CASA Volunteer, Shelby County
“When I was a child, I was in foster care myself,” said featured volunteer Callie Freeman. “I felt I was forgotten. I felt like there was no one to be my voice, so when I learned that as a CASA Volunteer I would be able to be the voice for a child in need, I knew I had to volunteer.”
CASA Volunteers come from all walks of life and exhibit intelligence, heart, and character. No prior experience is expected or necessary to become a volunteer. All the tools needed to be a successful advocate will be provided in the CASA volunteer training program.
“The mission of the local CASA program is to provide you the training and the tools necessary,” added Amanda Allen of Campbell County. “By being for the child during a traumatic period of time, a CASA can make a positive impact on the life of the child – which in turn helps our community prosper. We encourage those looking to make a real difference in the life of a child to contact our office at 423-562-2700 or visit BeForTheChild.org to sign up or request more information.”
“Research demonstrates just one caring adult can make a lasting impact on the trajectory of a child’s life. CASA is uniquely positioned to play that life-changing role,” said Linda O’Neal, Executive Director, Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth. “Studies have shown mitigating the impact of adverse childhood experiences directly improves health outcomes for children across their lifespan. By advocating for the needs of our most vulnerable children, CASA volunteers have the opportunity to change lives and communities for the better.”
At BeForTheChild.org visitors can find out more about the experience of volunteering as a CASA and sign up to be a volunteer. For more information on TN CASA, visit: https://tncasa.org/