McIntosh speaks to Kiwanis Club about CASA

Published 3:44 pm Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Thursday afternoon Kiwanis Club met, where Nan McIntosh spoke on CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children).

McIntosh informed the club that 20,000 children across the state of Georgia will find themselves in foster care this year, where on average they will spend nearly a year.

While living in foster care, each child will change homes an average of five times, meaning they lose the friends they’ve made, the family they’ve grown to know, and the support system they had created.

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McIntosh said the solution to this is CASA citizen volunteers who help abused; neglected children find safe, permanent homes.

“Sometimes the only constant in a child’s life is a CASA volunteer,” McIntosh said.  Volunteers are neighbors and regular people in the community who care deeply about children, she explained. They go through 40 hours of training, not reading a book, but going to court and seeing what it is like firsthand to work with these children and making sure people interested are in it for the right reason.

McIntosh said if CASA had 30 volunteers they could serve well over 100 children.

They currently have 16 volunteers and serve 145 children in five counties: Baker, Grady, Calhoun, Decatur, and Mitchell, but 100 percent of the children are still not being served.

McIntosh realizes not everyone is fit to serve CASA, but asked that everyone in attendance tell their friends and coworkers, because CASA volunteers can help build a better future for these children.

A child with a CASA volunteer is half as likely to re-enter the foster- care system and they are more likely to succeed in school.

Currently, there are 2,300 CASA volunteers helping change children’s lives every day.

These volunteers have spoken for 10, 250 abused and neglected children in the last year.

There are still 6,500 children awaiting a CASA volunteer, so McIntosh hopes more volunteers will come forward.