The Capital Area Court Appointed Special Advocate Association is launching its Be the Man campaign in hopes of recruiting additional male CASA volunteers to become voices for abused and neglected children in the foster care system, a news release said.
CASA recruits, trains and supervises community volunteers who serve as advocates for children in foster care. A CASA volunteer is an independent voice speaking for the child’s best interests to help the child reach a safe, permanent home, the release said.
In 2014, about half of the children served by CASA were male, yet only 18 percent of CASA’s volunteers were male. While both men and women can perform the duties of a CASA volunteer, there are many boys and young men in foster care who can benefit from a positive male influence, the organization said.
“There are many boys who are victims of abuse in our community,” said CASA volunteer Brent St. Blanc.
“Few have had an adult male in their life — and even less likely, a positive male role model. I think male CASA volunteers can bring a unique male perspective when dealing with the boys served by CASA and can more readily relate to some of the issues they face.”
Children ranging in age from birth to age 18 are served by the organization.
There is no special background required to become a CASA volunteer, however, the organization will provide thorough training and staff support. On average, CASA volunteers spend 10 to 15 hours per month on their advocacy work, the release said.
The first step to getting involved is to attend a 45-minute orientation session at the CASA office, 848 Louisiana Ave., Baton Rouge.
The following orientation dates and times remain for this month: 1 p.m. Friday; at noon on Thursday, Oct. 22; and 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 27.
Sessions are scheduled for noon on Nov. 4; 10:30 a.m. on Nov. 7; 5 p.m. on Nov. 12; 3 p.m. on Nov. 17; noon on Nov. 23; and Dec. 1, 5, 10 and 16.
To learn more about CASA, visit casabr.org and click “Be the Man.”
Call (225) 379-8598 for information.