CASA of Gila County welcomes new Court Appointed Special Advocate

Courtesy photo The Honorable Judge Timothy M. Wright and CASA Chris Carlson on Aug. 18.

CASA of Gila County is thrilled to welcome Chris Carlson as a Court Appointed Special Advocate. On Aug. 18, 2020 Carlson completed her Oath of Office with the Honorable Judge Timothy Wright. Carlson is the first CASA applicant from Gila County to complete the virtual pre-service training.

In the southern area of Gila County, only 17 out of 130 children in foster care have a CASA advocate. “We are ecstatic to welcome Chris. With Chris joining our team, we now have eight CASA volunteers serving in this area of our county,” said Emily Nader, CASA Coordinator. “We have significantly more children in foster care from this side of the county and are in need of volunteers from our community who want to help a child who is in foster care due to abuse or neglect at absolutely no fault of their own. Advocates are not foster parents, social workers, or attorneys. CASAs are volunteers who are trained and supported as they get to know one child or sibling group and report back to the judge with their recommendations for the child’s best interest.” Virtual advocacy training is available through the month of September.

How can you make a difference? Become a CASA volunteer, TODAY! Court Appointed Special Advocates are everyday community members who donate their time to be the voice for a child. CASA volunteers visit with the children regularly and are the one constant adult involved in their case. They follow the progress of the child’s court case, speak with important people in the child’s life, and report their observations back to the court to assist the judge in making informed decisions on behalf of the child.

No specific background or training is needed to become a CASA volunteer. Anyone 21 years of age or older, who can pass a thorough background check and complete 30 hours of free training, is encouraged to apply.

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