Letter to the Editor

Volunteers wanted

Sunday, October 20, 2019

The Court Appointed Special Advocate and Iowa Citizen Foster Care Review Board programs in Clay and Dickinson counties need volunteers.

Advocates with CASA and ICFRB members directly affect the experience children have within the foster care and child welfare systems by giving them a voice and ensuring they are heard.

CASAs are trained volunteers who are appointed by a judge to advocate for the best interests of children that have often been removed from their homes following abuse and neglect. CASAs visit the children at least once a month and talk with others involved in the childís life, including social workers, foster parents, teachers, and family service providers. They put what they learn into a report for the judge, make recommendations about placement and services, and attend hearings to support the child and answer any questions.

Board members with the ICFCRB join with other community members monthly to review actions taken, services offered, and current statuses of cases in which children are in foster care. They also consider input from parents, social workers, and others involved in caring for the child before developing recommendations to submit to the court. A full and diverse board ensures the court is provided with well-thought-out solutions that reflect the best interests of the child.

If you are interested in making a difference in the life of a child and believe you have the time and compassion to give, please donít hesitate to contact us. For more information about volunteering as either a CASA or a member of an ICFCRB, contact Melissa Loehr, program coordinator, at 712-262-0271. People can also visit www.childadvocacy.iowa.gov to learn more.

ó Melissa Loehr, Program Coordinator for CASA/FCRB, 712-262-0271