Thursday, Sep 14, 2017
Navigating the foster care system is uncertain and scary for children, but having caring advocates looking out for them can help make the process smoother.
That’s exactly what the people at Floyd County CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) do. Their mission is to provide trained, screened and supervised volunteers to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children.
“Our volunteers are real life superheroes to foster children in so many ways,” says Sue Lagermann, Director of the non-profit. “We’ve been serving kids in Floyd County for nearly 20 years, helping to ensure their safety and progress.”
Floyd County CASA is one of five non-profits competing for votes to win the Harbin Hero Challenge. The winner of the Challenge will take home a total of $1,500 from Harbin Clinic to further their charity’s goals.
Lagermann explains that the nearly 30 local CASA volunteers are appointed by judges and have the responsibility of reporting to the judge and testifying in court settings about the children’s situations.
Additionally, CASA volunteers must explain to the children what’s happening in their cases, recommend services to the kids and their families and also bring concerns about the child’s health, wellness and education to the appropriate people.
“The CASAs are able to talk to teachers, counselors, parents, foster parents, therapists and anyone involved in that child’s life,” Lagermann explains. “We’re basically their voice in court and advocate for them so they can be in a safe, permanent home as soon as possible.”
But unfortunately, Floyd County CASA is only able to serve a small chunk of the Floyd County foster population.
“There are 321 kids in foster care in Floyd County. Of those, 109 are under 5 years old.” Lagermann said. “We’re only serving 21 percent of the kids in the county, and that’s roughly 80 kids a year.”
Because of those numbers, Lagermann doesn’t miss a beat when asked what superpower Floyd County CASA would have if it could.
“If we had a superpower, it would be to serve all the children in our county who need us,” she said.
To vote for Floyd County CASA for the Harbin Hero Challenge, select them as your charity of choice on the online race registration form at rfpra.com/herohustle. Race-day registrants will be able to select Floyd County CASA on their registration forms, and costume contest winners may select them at the race for additional points.
The five Harbin Hero Challenge charities are The Sweet Cocoon, The YMCA of Rome, Floyd County CASA, Summit Quest and Living Proof Recovery. Each charity will receive $500 from Harbin Clinic and the organization with the most votes will receive an additional $1,000.