WORDS courtesy CASA of Sebastian County

Apr 1, 2023 | Life, News & Events, Nonprofits


CASA of Sebastian County (Court Appointed Special Advocates) is a nonprofit organization that utilizes volunteers to advocate for children in Sebastian County foster care. CASA volunteers are trained to understand the impact of trauma on children in foster care. By visiting a child in their placements, volunteers become a consistent person for that child in their journey through foster care. Our advocates also gather information from people in the child’s life, service providers, teachers and social workers which allows a volunteer to make informed recommendations to the court. Volunteers also advocate for services that promote healing, to help children develop resilience without causing additional trauma. CASA volunteers encourage services that strengthen parents’ relationships with their children, which can result in successful reunifications.

Due to the current lack of volunteers, CASA of Sebastian County is only able to advocate for forty percent of the more than 400 children in foster care. Every child in foster care deserves a CASA volunteer that advocates for their best interest and ensures they don’t fall through the cracks of an over-loaded foster care system. CASA of Sebastian County has a thirty-hour training program. Most of the training is done online over a six-week period while meeting in person once a week. Our program needs committed volunteers who will advocate for children right here in Sebastian County. The only requirements are to be over the age of twenty-one, pass a background check, and have a commitment to the case you choose and are assigned to. Our volunteers range in age from twenty-five to eighty-seven and come from all walks of life, employed full time, or retired, teachers, attorneys, homemakers, and even retired police officers.

Judges are more likely to assign CASA volunteers to their most complex, serious cases – cases in which children are at higher risk of poor outcomes. Judge Shannon Blatt was quoted in a recent article, stating “I wish we had a CASA for every case.” Please help us help these children, who through no fault of their own, are placed in foster care. You can be that special someone for a child who is hurting and feels like no one is listening. You can change a child’s story! To learn more, please follow us on Facebook and call the CASA Office at 479.785.4171 to learn more.

Do South Magazine

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