CASA of Jackson County was awarded a grant from the United Way of Northeast Arkansas. The grant is intended to increase awareness of the need for foster care families in the county, as well as a need for an increase in CASA volunteers.
CASA of Jackson County, founded in 1990, is a non-profit organization responsible for recruiting, training and supporting the work of CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteers. CASA volunteers do what no one else does- they donate their time to act as independent eyes and ears of the court and speak solely for the best interest of children and youth in the custody of DHS.
Jackson County currently has six foster care families, but two are full. There are 56 children in foster care from Jackson County, with only four of them fostered in Jackson County because of the lack of homes. It is common for siblings to be split into different foster homes in different counties. CASA volunteers have trouble servicing all the children and cases due to extensive travel time involved in court ordered services.
According to the local CASA representative, the community can support CASA in different ways. First, the most favored option is adoption. Second, becoming a foster family is an option. To become a foster family, contact the Department of Human Services. Third, volunteer as a CASA advocate. Jackson County has four advocates and needs more. The process includes 30 hours of training, complete a background check, and a registry check through DHS. After the required training, the advocate does a court observation and is sworn in as an officer of the court. Monetary contributions are always welcome.