Advocates needed around the state

News

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA)– A program that helps children all around the state needs your help.

CASA or Court Appointed Special Advocates said they have more children that need help than they have volunteers. CASA programs around the state need you to sign up to help make a difference in a foster child’s life.

CASA is made up of volunteers from the community who work with children that have been taken from their homes. The advocates support the children throughout the duration of their court process. Volunteers also act as a constant presence for these kids who need them. They are required to stay connected to the child for 18 to 24 months, making sure they have everything they need to thrive.

Sangamon County’s CASA Executive Director Jennifer Dowd said some people struggle with the application process but there is a solution to make it easier.

“It would be fantastic if folks are still interested, come by and pick up an application, then we won’t have to mail it. Fill it out, we’ve had folks that stayed here and fill it out, then had the interview right on the spot. We don’t have to worry about your reference right in the beginning and then that process time gets cut way down,” said Dowd.

In order to become a volunteer, you have to be at least 21 and you will have to go through a series of background checks. In Sangamon County, 728 kids are in need of casa. Hundreds of children in counties like Macon and Champaign are in need of advocates also.

If your interested in volunteering as a CASA in Sangamon County, email Jennifer Dowd at Jennifer.Dowd@co.sangamon.il.us or call 217-522-2241.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.