After 33 years as a teacher, Colorado PERA retiree Missy Salter knew that helping children was still central to her life’s mission and began researching volunteer opportunities working with children.
A friend was already involved with the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Adams & Broomfield Counties and it seemed like the perfect fit.
CASA is a volunteer-based, nonprofit organization that trains and supervises community volunteers to represent the best interests of our most vulnerable citizens—child victims of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse and neglect.
“Volunteering for CASA as an Advocate is extremely important because there are many more children in the court system than there are Advocates,” said Missy. “Judges request Volunteer Advocates to be assigned to cases, because the Advocate typically has more time to spend with the children and can get to know them on a personal level, see the children interact with other family members, and then honestly report back to the judge with recommendations as to what is in the best interest of the children.”
Volunteer Advocates ensure that each child has a voice in court and that the judge receives up-to-date, pertinent information so important decisions may be made regarding the child’s educational and health-related needs, therapy, visitation, and ultimately permanency. Each Volunteer Advocate is vital in determining a safe and permanent home for the child.
As a Volunteer Advocate, Missy visits with the children on her case twice per month and speaks with the adults in their lives. “The best part for me is knowing that every single minute that I devote to CASA is time very well spent. I know that I am doing everything in my power to help children to achieve the life that they deserve,” said Missy.
CASA organizations are in every corner of the state with 17 locations in Colorado. Beyond Volunteer Advocates, most offer other volunteer opportunities, like fundraising and special events. If, like Missy, you believe that, “Every child in the foster care system should have an adult advocating for them,” you can find more information online at www.coloradocasa.org.