On Monday, June 11, we welcomed 14 new advocates to CASA of Luzerne County: Amy Anstett, Pam Coburn, Heather Critchosin, Anita Frank, Shannon Hurley, Tish McCarthy Last, Jen Leung, Amy Martin, Karen Mazzaccaro, Phyllis Mundy, Donna Nelson, Tracey Selingo, Juliane von Schmeling, and Carol Wills.
This group of people participated in weeks of training, observed hearings, completed homework, and practiced filling out court reports as part of their impassioned commitment to "be the voice" for abused and neglected children in Luzerne County's foster care system.
The number of children currently in that system is ever-growing. These are kids who have experienced trauma some of us could never imagine. Add to that the sadness from being removed from their homes, the fear of a new place and new people, the confusion of a system that even adults can have a hard time navigating ... it's overwhelming for them to say the least.
But that's where a CASA comes in. Someone who has made the choice to be there because they want to be -- to help guide the case through the courts, to make recommendations about what is truly best for that child so they can find a safe, permanent, loving place to grow up. To be a constant amid the chaos.
Our 14 new advocates bring our total number of CASAs up to 35. Those are 35 people who are generously giving their time and resources to make a difference in the life of a child and a family. Those are 35 people who are literally changing the world.
If you know any of our 14 new advocates, please join us in welcoming them to the team. And if you know any of our 21 advocates who have been with the program, please let them know how thankful you are for the work they're electing to do.
Our next training class is scheduled to begin in October. If you want to join the ranks of these exceptional volunteers, please reach out to us. We'd love to talk to you about the difference we know you can make. We have two info sessions in July, which means two opportunities to connect with you about your next step. Choose your date and click the link to register: July 9 or July 23.