Keeping children safe is everybody’s business. CASA volunteers play a unique role on behalf of our most vulnerable children. Your commitment, vigilance and persistence offers hope where there has been little. Your efforts help to light the way for these children—and for their children as well.
At its heart, the CASA cause is not merely an issue of abuse, or neglect, or an imperfect system, or overburdened workers, but of the unalienable rights of a child. This is a human rights issue. This is about ensuring that every child is safe, and has the right to learn and grow and to be treated with dignity and respect. Society has a fundamental obligation to ensure the basic rights and needs of every child are met. As CASA volunteers you are a formidable force fighting for these rights.
I want to echo comments made by El Paso County Magistrate Jessica Curtis at the recent Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast….
Along with our Court Appointed Special Advocates, Magistrate Curtis had high praise for our Supervised Exchange and Parenting Time Program (SEPT) volunteers for protecting kids from parental conflict and domestic violence. “I don’t know what our community would do — what the children would do — without the SEPT program,” she said.
The Life Long Links team also received recognition from Magistrate Curtis for finding and connecting kids to extended family and supportive adults. “Life Long Links has completely changed the way we do business in regard to adolescent cases in our community, and it was sorely needed,” she said. “Before Life Long Links, It was all too common for youth to get stuck in the system and to be spinning their wheels in foster care.”
Magistrate Curtis described Dependency and Neglect cases as “blunt Instruments” and commended CASA volunteers for all the ways they support children through the court process and welfare system. “You are the ones connected to these kids, you are the ones assuring them everything is okay, and that their needs are being taken seriously. You’re their voice,” said Magistrate Curtis. “You are the ones spending the most time with them; you’re listening to them longer than anyone else has time for, sadly. You’re making them feel heard. You are making a tremendous difference for these kids and in these cases overall, and it’s so incredibly valuable. I want to thank you all on behalf of the bench, you do incredible work.”
Whether you are a Court Appointed Special Advocate, a Peer Coordinator, Supervised Exchange and Parenting Time Facilitator, Life Long Links Specialist, volunteer for the Milton Foster Children’s Fund or The Hanger, a board member, or you help in the office… you are creating positive change for our local children and their families. We honor and thank you.
Event Photos from the Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast at Glenn Eyrie: