How we work
Potential Volunteer Advocates are required to participate in a 32 hour pre-service training class that provides them with the information and tools they need to be an effective advocate. During the training class, the volunteers are required to observe a juvenile court proceeding. After a Volunteer Advocate is sworn-in by the judge in the parish they will serve they are assigned to a case.
After being assigned to a case, the advocate is required to meet with the child or children in that case face-to-face for a minimum of 1 hour a month. Once every 3 to 6 months the advocate is required to submit a written court report to the judge and testify at the hearing. An Advocate Supervisor will be there to support and guide the advocate throughout the life of the case.
CASA of Central Louisiana’s goal is to help provide safe, permanent, and nurturing homes for our community’s abused and neglected children as quickly as possible. This is accomplished through family reunification, guardianship, adoption or alternative permanent living arrangements.
1. Find a safe and permanent home for every child
2. A CASA volunteer for every child
3. Growth for the program
4. Reach a total of 50 Volunteers
10 Signs of Potential Abuse / Neglect:
1. Unexplained injuries: Visible signs of physical abuse may include unexplained burns or bruises in the shape of objects. You may also hear unconvincing explanation of child's injuries.
2. Changes in behavior: Abuse can lead to many changes in a child's behavior. Abused children often appear scared, anxious, depressed, withdrawn or more aggressive.
3. Returning to earlier behaviors: Abused children may display behaviors shown at earlier ages, such as thumb-sucking, bed wetting, fear of the dark or strangers. For some children, even loss of acquired language or memory problems may be an issue.
4. Fear of going home: Abused children may express apprehension or anxiety about leaving school or about going places with the person that is abusing them.
5. Changes in eating: The stress, fear and anxiety caused by abuse can lead to changes in a child's eating behaviors, which may result in weight gain or weight loss.
6. Changes in sleeping: Abused children may have frequent nightmares or have difficulty falling asleep, and as a result may appear tired or fatigued.
7. Changes in school performance and attendance: Abused children may have difficulty concentrating in school or have excessive absences, sometimes due to adults trying to hide the children's injuries from authorities.
8. Lack of personal care or hygiene: Abused children may appear uncared for. They may present as consistently dirty and have sever body odor or they may lack sufficient clothing for the weather.
9. Risk-taking behaviors: Young people who are being abused may engage in high-risk activities such as using drugs or alcohol or carrying a weapon.
10. Inappropriate sexual behaviors. Children who have been sexually abused may exhibit overly sexualized behavior or use explicit sexual language.
Some signs that a child is experiencing violence or abuse are more obvious than others. Trust your instincts. Suspected abuse is enough of a reason to contact the authorities.
Ready to help?