For a child, having a caring, consistent adult to put your best interests before all others’ can make all the difference. CASA/GAL volunteers help children find the road home, wherever it lies.
In 2018, children with a CASA/GAL volunteer reached a permanent home an average of 1.8 months faster, when compared with all children in out-of-home care.
CASA/GAL volunteers work to help a child reach home.
- Our volunteers get to know the child − they listen; they talk to the people in the child’s life to find out what they need to heal and thrive; they make sure the child is safe; and they help the child reach a safe, permanent home.
- We know children do best when they can safely remain with their parents or with other family members. CASA/GAL volunteers work with experts and service providers to identify and recommend services aimed at keeping families intact or returning children safely to family members.
- When that is not possible, advocates work to help the child reach another safe and stable forever home.
CASA/GAL volunteers work with families of origin and extended family.
- Most children who are placed in out-of-home care will reunify with their families of origin.
- CASA/GAL volunteers identify barriers to families’ engagement in services and find ways to reduce or eliminate them. Volunteers are trained in cultural competency. They create supportive environments for families from all walks of life.
- Volunteers encourage connections with extended family, when possible. These connections give children a sense of belonging and unconditional love.
Volunteers encourage placement in family-like settings.
Youth placed in group homes don’t fare as well as those in family settings. In advocating for these youth, our volunteers help ensure they are not placed in group care unnecessarily or in a situation that is not good for them.
CASA/GAL volunteers support stable placements.
Moving to placement after placement can be traumatic for children:
- It reduces their ability to attach to caregivers.
- It can prevent them from building resilience.
- Moving can separate children from siblings and others who support them.
- It can also impact their progress in school.
By recommending services to help stabilize placements, CASA/GAL volunteers reduce the chaos in children’s lives.