CASA looking for more child advocates amid COVID-19
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) - As the number of kids in the child welfare system continues to grow amid COVID-19, One local organization is asking for volunteers to help guide and comfort them through the process.
Before COVID-19, CASA of the Pikes Peak Region received around 20 requests for court appointed special advocates a month. That number has since risen to forty.
"I think it has a lot to do with the added stress that families are under. Anytime you see stress levels in families rise, you're going to see abuse and domestic violence rise as well," Keri Kahn, a spokesperson for CASA told KRDO.
CASAs (Court Appointed Special Advocates) go through training before they're assigned by a judge to one case, which can last a few months to a couple years.
They attend court hearings with the children, and hangout with them twice a month -- helping with homework, playing games and lending a listening ear.
However, local CASA Kristina Wrobleski told us they've had to get creative during COVID.
"I found online checker games, different card games that you can play with someone while still being remote and being safe," she explained.
She said CASAs are actually even more important now, since the kids are staying home, out of school and activities.
"We need caring adults to be checking in on those kids more regularly," Wrobleski said.
While they'll gladly take men and women on board -- Kahn said they're especially looking for male CASAs, since they only make up twenty percent of the volunteer pool, yet still half the kids are boys.
"It's a fantastic opportunity to be a positive role model in the life of a young boy who possibly hasn't had very many good role models," she told KRDO. "I don't think you can ever underestimate the importance of what a single adult can do to change a child's life."
Click here to sign up for the next CASA information session on Tuesday, November 10.