November 23, 2016 Edition

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CASA sets meeting
for new volunteers

An informational meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 30, for anyone wishing to learn more about the CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) Program for children in foster care. It will be held at noon in The Venue, located at 117 West Main Street in Walnut Ridge.

Lawrence and Randolph Counties are served by Gateway CASA of the 3rd Judicial District of Arkansas, which also serves Jackson and Sharp Counties.

"Gateway CASA has been working to rebuild the program in our area and volunteers are needed to help meet the growing demand," said Dina Rose, Gateway CASA Board member. "The number of children in foster care has been increasing at an alarming rate in Arkansas; therefore, there is a greater need for individuals willing to serve as the voice of these children."

When children are taken from their home due to abuse or neglect, they enter into the custody of social services and are put into a foster home or other facility. Some of these children are lucky enough to be given a court appointed special advocate to be their voice in court and work to provide them with a safe home.

The National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association, together with its state and local member programs, supports and promotes court-appointed volunteer advocacy with the goal of helping every abused and neglected child feel safe and have an opportunity to thrive.

"Nobody longs for a safe and loving family more than a child in foster care," the NCASAA website states. "A CASA volunteer is empowered by the courts to help make this dream a reality.

Anyone interested in learning more about the CASA program is encouraged to attend this informational meeting.

"There are many ways to get involved, even for those who are unable to commit to being an advocate at this time," Rose explained. "This casual meeting is simply for the purpose of learning more about the program and ways to get involved."

The meeting is free and a sandwich lunch will be provided, but participants are asked to pre-register by Monday to make sure there will be plenty of food. To reserve a spot or inquire about the meeting or the program, contact Rose by phone at 870-759-0575 or email dinarose3@outlook.com.

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