Louisville, KY. (August 1, 2022) - CASA of the River Region, a Louisville-based nonprofit that trains and pairs volunteers to advocate for the best interests of abused and/or neglected children, will be expanding its service area to include Bullitt County. This expansion will be the seventh county served by CASA of the River Region.
“This is a positive change for the children in our community. With this growth, the children of Bullitt County will continue to receive high-quality service from trained volunteers while adding expanded regional resources,” stated William Myers, CEO of CASA of the River Region.
Prior to this, the vulnerable children of this community were served by CASA of Bullitt County, which was formed in 2003. Recently, the organization elected to join CASA of the River Region and was incorporated as of August 1st.
CASA of the River Region is Kentucky’s first and largest urban Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program. Nationally, the CASA model has been consistently evaluated as the most effective at serving abused/neglected children’s best interests and the most successful at procuring safe and permanent homes in the shortest time possible.
This comes at a time when Kentucky’s child abuse rate is double the national average. CASA of the River Region receives 1 of every 8 abuse/neglect cases in the Commonwealth. Simultaneously, the Kentucky Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) had a 14% decrease in its workforce last year. Continued high levels of child abuse and decrease in social workers means that caseloads are excessive and CASA volunteers are needed more than ever. Family Court Judges rely on the direct observations of CASA volunteers to make decisions on children’s futures.
Last year, CASA of the River Region served 551 children with 207 volunteers. CASA of the River Region will continue its local presence with an office in Bullitt County and two county staff to serve as Advocacy Supervisors. Other county offices include La Grange and Shelbyville with the primary office in Louisville.
CASA volunteers (CASAs) spend 1 to 4 hours per week getting to know children, their situation, and unique needs. CASAs are paired with only one case and can provide oversight and individualized care that the most vulnerable children require to overcome trauma.
The best description of a CASA comes from former CASA kid Ryan. “My CASA was always there. He would check on me and hang out even when I wanted to be left alone. Eventually my case ended, but he was still there. I don’t consider him my CASA; I consider him my family because there’s not many people that have given me that type of loyalty, love, and respect. Having him on my side completely altered my life.”
CASA volunteers must be at least 21 years old, pass background checks, and complete pre-service training. To learn more, join our monthly virtual information session, every 1st and 3rd Wednesday. Visit www.casarr.org/casa101 for more information.