SAN DIEGO -- Voices for Children, a San Diego non-profit organization that helps abused children by providing them with volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs), this week will be hosting an information session for potential volunteers.
The information session will take place from 5:30 to 7 pm Wednesday, April 11, at The San Diego LGBT Community Center, 3909 Centre St. in Hillcrest.
Voices for Children officials say that every child deserves a safe and permanent home, and the organization is committed to provide a CASA to every child in the foster care system who needs one, while monitoring every court file in the system, and advocating to improve the lives of San Diego County's foster children. The organization relies on a network of volunteers to help them reach this goal.
Volunteers who sign up to be a CASA receive training and become empowered by the court to become experts about their case children. By developing a one-on-one relationship with their appointed child, CASAs are able to understand the children’s concerns and fears, and in many instances they are the only stable and consistent adult presence in the life of a foster child.
Much more than just a mentor, CASA volunteers also make recommendations to the court on the best course of action for a foster child. Voices for Children also advocates for a diverse population of foster youth, including LGBT youth, who would greatly benefit from an LGBT advocate.
While all potential volunteers are welcome at Wednesday's information session, Voices for Children particularly hopes to reach members of the LGBT community who are interested in being a part of this important work.
One such volunteer CASA is Tania Jabour, a lesbian in San Diego. Jabour has volunteered as a CASA for over three years, and has been assigned to work with a teenage girl, whom Jabour has been the only consistent person in the girl's life.
In this particular case, the girl wanted to visit her sister, who was adopted by a family. The adoptive family was hesitant about the girl visiting her sister, and Jabour was able to work with the adoptive family to help them become comfortable with her case child, explaining the importance of the siblings maintaining contact.
Jabour's story is just one of the many positive impacts that Voices for Children says that CASAs have on the life of the children in foster care.
More information about Voices for Children is available HERE.