CASA adjusts to pandemic, needs volunteers

CASA adjusts to pandemic, needs volunteers
CASA adjusts to new pandemic regulations and looks for more volunteers. (Source: KAIT)

CRAIGHEAD COUNTY, Ark. (KAIT) - Like other organizations, CASA has had to make adjustments for the coronavirus pandemic.

The nonprofit is still making sure advocates are meeting with foster kids regularly.

Advocate coordinator for Craighead County Angela Tate said right now, CASA is actively looking for 25 volunteers to meet the need to serve all the kids in foster care in the 2nd Judicial District of Arkansas.

The district CASA covers includes Craighead, Greene, Clay, Poinsett, and Mississippi counties.

With the pandemic, recruitment means reaching out on social media.

Tate said CASA has used Facebook to hold virtual meetings to answer questions about becoming an advocate.

“We’ve offered some virtual 101 conversations about CASA and it’s just a Zoom that you log in and you can interact and ask questions and figure out what it would take to be a CASA,” said Tate.

Advocates have to be 21 or older and must have 22 hours of training.

This is typically done in a classroom setting, but recently the training has been held virtually, another change for CASA.

Tate said typically the number of kids in foster care increases when school starts because schools are mandated reporters of neglect and child abuse.

But, with many kids doing virtual learning this year, there are less people to see the potential signs.

“Definitely, that’s a scary situation to have these children that are probably facing some abuse and neglect and they’re not around people that are mandated reporters or other adults that actually care about their safety and welfare,” said Tate.

Tate said it’s up to everyone to keep an eye out for these kids and watch for any potential warning signs of abuse and neglect.

You can learn more about becoming an advocate by visiting the CASA 2nd Judicial District- Arkansas Facebook Page.

If you’re interested in applying to become an advocate for foster kids, visit the CASA website here.

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