To the editor:
During this time of uncertainty it is comforting to know that there is a non-profit that focuses solely on the best interests of children. CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) is an organization of volunteers who advocate for children who have been found to be neglected and/or abused by our New Hampshire Courts. A CASA is the voice for a child in court to insure that a child’s best interests are first and foremost in the minds of all involved.
Our children suffer when their parents suffer from addictions, domestic violence, mental illness, lack of housing or lack of employment. In some situations children need to be removed from their parents in order to be safe. While parents work on creating a safer home environment, their children are placed with relatives or foster families. During this time of separation children’s needs, hopes, wishes, and fears can be expressed to the court through the voice of a CASA.
I first heard about CASA through a letter similar to this one in The Conway Daily Sun seven years ago. As a former special education teacher, I was missing the connection with children and wanted to find a way to make a difference in my community. Through wonderful training and ongoing support by CASA NH, I became acquainted with the goals, purpose, dedication and strategies to be an advocate for children at hearings in Family Court. It has been so rewarding to spend time with vulnerable children, assure them that they matter, that I will always have their back, and will do everything in my power to insure that the outcome is best for them.
I encourage anyone to consider becoming a CASA. Think about it. You are needed. Can you invest 10-12 hours a month in getting to know a child who needs you? There are children in our communities who are in great need of a CASA to support and represent them as their families go through difficult times. And as the complications of COVID-19 continue, the need is only sadly going to grow.
For more information please visit www.casanh.org and learn how you can get involved.