Helps Abused and Neglected Children Thrive
For abused or neglected children, one trustworthy advocate can make all the difference. CASA of Larimer County is a nonprofit dedicated to promoting a safe environment for all children in the 8th Judicial District (Larimer and Jackson counties). CASA stands for court appointed special advocates; there are 18 organizations with CASA programs across Colorado. It is the mission of CASA of Larimer County to advocate for safe, nurturing and permanent connections to family and community so children who have experienced abuse and neglect have the opportunity to thrive.
Nearly every day, CASA Executive Director Jen Ryan hears stories from children, parents, volunteers and staff about the resilience of families and positive changes for children because of the programs, which encourages her and the rest of the staff.
“Sometimes these are small and some are monumental, but each is a step in how children learn trust, confidence and build healthy relationships,” Ryan said.
CASA of Larimer County has three programs: Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), Family Connections (Supervised Visits and Safe Exchanges) and Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI). Each program supports the safety and health of children and families.
“Alpine Bank has been our largest corporate donor and the presenting sponsor for our two main fundraising events for the last two years,” Ryan said. Alpine Bank’s support helps the organization in its goal of helping children re-establish healthy and trusting bonds with adults.
Along with corporate support, volunteers are critical to CASA’s success. Recently, legislative changes have made the need for CASA volunteers even more critical, she said.
CASA Volunteers are appointed by judges to advocate for the best interests of youth, from birth to age 18. They stay with each case until it is closed and the child is in a safe, permanent home.
“In the 8th Judicial district we currently have 30 children waiting for a CASA,” Ryan said.
Volunteers work with legal and child welfare professionals, educators and providers to ensure judges have the information needed to make the most well-informed decisions for each child.
“This is an incredibly meaningful volunteer role that truly makes a difference for children during a difficult time in their lives,” she said.
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