CASA of Central Louisiana Executive Director Jack Duty and Advocate Supervisor Iris Lily spoke to the Natchitoches Lions Club April 15. CASA of Central Louisiana serves Natchitoches, Red River and Sabine Parishes. Its volunteers are appointed by judges to advocate for abused or neglected children, to make sure they don’t get lost in the overburdened legal and social service system or languish in inappropriate group or foster homes. Volunteers stay with each case until it’s closed and the child is placed in a safe, permanent home. For many of the children, their CASA volunteer will be the one constant adult presence in their lives.
CASA of Central Louisiana will hold an Advocate Training Class beginning May 14. The classes will be held from 5:30-8:30 pm at the CASA office, which is located at 1200 Keyser Avenue, Suite B in Natchitoches. An orientation will be held on May 7. CASA’s Advocate Training Class marks the beginning of a 32-hour course, which will be held over four weeks. There will be study material sent home, but volunteers will be asked to attend classes at the office twice a week. At the end, there will be a 2-hour courtroom observation before volunteers are officially sworn in as advocates.
Becoming a CASA volunteer is an investment of time, energy and heart, but many volunteers say they get just as much out of it themselves as the child they’re advocating for. They find it rewarding and feel like they’re helping to change that child’s situation.
For more information call their office at (318) 238-2446 or go online to casanat.org to submit an application.