The nonprofit CASA -- Court Appointed Special Advocates -- is putting out a call for help.
It's actively recruiting volunteers who will serve as the voice for kids who’ve been taken from their homes when they go to court.
A CASA visits the children regularly, taking them to activities like baseball games or the zoo in an effort to build a relationship and become someone they can trust. The CASA also visits the foster homes or homes of family members the kids are placed with and take notes and hears stories to share with the judge that sometimes people just won't share with a Department of Child Services case worker.
"A CASA is the eyes and ears of this child to know, 'Do you need glasses? Let's get you some glasses. Do you need reading lessons? Maybe behavioral therapy?' Whatever they need to sit and focus in school and thrive socially," said Christine Slomski, Marketing Director for Voices for CASA.
Each CASA only handles one or two cases at a time and sometimes forms a bond that continues with a child for years.
According to Voices for CASA, there are currently about 11,000 abused and neglected children in Maricopa County and only 600 CASAs.
The volunteer positions take about 20 hours a month of commitment. The next informational sessions are on May 30 and June 5 at the Voices for CASA office, located at 4300 N. Miller Rd., #116, Scottsdale, AZ, 85251.
Visit VoicesForCASAChildren.org for more information.