(La Junta, CO) -- "Our volunteers play a special role in court and in a child's life, our volunteers main duty is to spend time with the child and get to know that child so that they can report to the judge in a way that no one else can."
Cynthia Sollenbarger explains duties of a CASA. She says there's been some misunderstanding however, about what a CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocate does.
The executive director of the Arkansas Valley CASA says they do not do certain things and never will. She says:
We do not remove children from homes.
We do not send our volunteers into a home that would be unsafe for them.
We do not make the final decision for the children, that is in the judge's hands.
The CASA volunteers just spend time with the child and get to know them, really well. They also might have the chance to get to know the parents. The goal is always reunification if possible, Sollenbarger explains.
Volunteers will write a report to the judge or maybe report in person about the needs of the child. The child might need additional education, or counseling and the volunteer can express those needs to the judge. The volunteer becomes a specialist for the child.
Recently, the Arkansas Valley CASA held a fundraiser to help continue the work of the non-profit. At that luncheon, the community raised $33,000, which is $13,000 more than the goal set for the 2022 fundraiser.
"We are so thankful for our donors and our sponsors!" Sollenbarger exclaims.
There's a volunteer class beginning in July if you would like to give a few hours a month to make a difference in the life of a child in SE Colorado.
If you want to listen to our interview with Cynthia, just click here. https://www.coloradonewsyourway.com/listen
Contact Cynthia at 469-5256 or visit arkvalleycasa.org and click on volunteer.