CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) named David Clark of Ville Platte, an instructor of accounting in Northwestern State University’s School of Business, Advocate of the Year for Louisiana and Volunteer of the Year for St. Landry Parish.
A Court Appointed Special Advocate volunteer is a trained citizen who is appointed by a judge to speak for the best interests of a child who has been adjudicated as abused, neglected and/or dependent by the juvenile court system. CASA advocates see to the physical and mental needs of the child during a difficult time in their life.
“I became a CASA volunteer because of my past involvement with abused and neglected children as a police officer in a large city,” Clark said. “As a first responder, I was called to situations where my involvement was to investigate abuse or neglect. After determination, I never knew the outcome of these children. As a CASA volunteer, I have a much more active role in being involved and helping to decide what is best for my CASA kids.”
The Advocate of the Year award recognizes a CASA advocate who has demonstrated outstanding commitment, passion and dedication to improving the lives of the children they serve. Recipients show exceptional skills in advocating for the best interest of their CASA child and go above and beyond in their role as a CASA volunteer.
The St. Landry Parish Volunteer of the Year recognizes continuous support and contributions to individual and groups by Friends of CASA.
CASA volunteers to help change the lives of children who’ve experienced abuse or neglect. The National CASA Association, together with state and local member programs, supports and promotes court-appointed volunteer advocacy so every child who has experienced abuse or neglect can be safe, have a permanent home and the opportunity to thrive.
CASA ensures all volunteers working with their programs are properly trained, screened, and supervised in compliance with both Louisiana Law and national standards.
“The greatest satisfaction is bonding with the child and successful placement,” Clark said. “I have been fortunate either to have children placed with caring relatives or unification with the parents. The University supports this activity by accommodating my schedule to carry out my duties as a volunteer.