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Child Advocates, CASA of Lafayette County

Sponsored by Bank of Commerce

Every child in foster care in Lafayette County now has a volunteer advocate to look out for their best interests, but demand is growing amid the pandemic.

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Lafayette County advocates for abused and neglected children by recruiting, training and supervising volunteer advocates, who are appointed by the youth court judge to be a child’s voice in court. Currently, 30 CASA Volunteer Advocates are able to serve all the children in foster care within Lafayette County, but an influx of children has led to an increased need for volunteers and funding.

CASA also supports foster children by helping pay for needs that range from psychological assessments and therapy to bedding, clothing, and equipment for extracurricular activities.

Founding Executive Director Erin Smith said the agency is in need of monetary support to continue its mission.

“Children in our community are being abused and neglected every day,” Smith said. “There is such a huge need for volunteer advocates and awareness so we can support these children’s needs.”

Founded in 2017, CASA of Lafayette County achieved its nonprofit status in 2018. It is partially funded by a cadre of federal, national and local grants, but it relies heavily on financial support from community members and businesses. In normal years, CASA hosts two large annual fundraisers, but COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted this year’s events and is likely to affect 2021’s too.

Donations are tax deductible and can be made at www.CASAofLafayetteCounty.com. For more information on becoming a CASA Volunteer Advocate contact CASAVolunteers@gmail.com. Follow it on Facebook at CASA of Lafayette County and on Instagram at Lafayette County CASA.