CASA Ogeechee would like to honor and thank all their volunteers who work hard to ensure children and youth, who have been placed in foster care as a result of experiencing abuse or neglect, have their voices heard every day.

The Ogeechee Judicial Circuit serves Bulloch, Effingham, Jenkins and Screven Counties.  It supports more than 40 highly trained CASA volunteers in their service to nearly 120 children, youth and their families. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, CASA Ogeechee volunteers have remained committed to providing best-interest advocacy for children who have experienced abuse or neglect.  They never wavered in their advocacy efforts by brainstorming innovative and creative ways to maintain the bond they worked so hard to create with their children in foster care.

In the Ogeechee Judicial Circuit, volunteers advocate for the best interests of children before the court as a result of allegations of abuse or neglect. These children range in age from birth through the age of emancipation.

To acknowledge the commitment, time, and compassion of CASA volunteers, the National CASA Association for Children is partnering with FosterStrong to host the first-ever, CASA Volunteer’s Day on May 18, 2021.

On this day, the CASA network of 948 state organizations and local programs across the nation will recognize their volunteers through various social media channels to show their appreciation.

This day also gives the residents of the Ogeechee Judicial Circuit the chance to better understand the critical role a CASA volunteer plays in the lives of young people, and inspire others to contribute their time to support children who may be in/or at-risk of child welfare involvement.

On May 18, members of Congress will recognize CASA Volunteer’s Day on Capitol Hill, and National CASA and FosterStrong will host a virtual celebration for all CASA volunteers.

Our volunteers are people, from all walks of life, who have been rigorously screened and trained extensively by their local program. Each volunteer receives more than 30 hours of training before they work with a child, with an additional 12 hours of continued education required annually. Volunteers receive ongoing support to help them advocate effectively on a child’s behalf.  Once training is completed, the volunteer is sworn in and appointed by a judge.  They provide the court with the comprehensive and objective information the court needs to make the most well-informed decisions and help ensure positive outcomes for children and youth. These individuals not only advocate for children within the court, child welfare and school systems, but also form relationships with them that last for years.  A number of young people who age out of the foster care system will maintain a relationship with their CASA volunteer into adulthood.

CASA volunteers take the time to get to know the child at the heart of each case. They also work in partnership with legal and child welfare professionals, educators and service providers to ensure that the child has what he or she needs to heal and thrive.

For more information please visit www.casaogeechee.org