The Manila Lions Club donated $100 to CASA at the Wednesday, noon meeting. Daryl Turner, case coordinator with CASA for Mississippi and Crittenden Counties, was present for the meeting and thanked the Lions Club for their support.
CASA is a nonprofit organization and donations go toward training volunteers, community awareness seminars and supplies. CASA's mission is to recruit, train, and retain community volunteers to advocate for abused/neglected children in court who are currently in the foster care system.
Turner said requirements to become a volunteer are criminal background checks, finger printed, be at least 21 years of age, have the ability to be objective and committed, have at least three references checked and attend training and volunteer meetings.
Volunteers need to make a minimum one-year commitment. Volunteers receive 40 hours of training during the first year and 10-15 hours thereafter. The approximate involvement time is 15 hours per month and attending monthly volunteer meetings. CASA volunteers must visit the child no less than once a month.
CASA was created in the 2nd Judicial District in July of 1995. It is funded through grants, fund raising, and private donations. There are four paid staff members and approximately 60 volunteers with half serving children on cases and the others serving on the General Board or the Friends of CASA Board that is set up for networking, recruiting, and fund raising reasons.
Since July of 2000, CASA has served 85 children on 41 cases; closed 12 cases with 25 children. Ten children were reunified with parents, 13 children are to be adopted, and two are in independent living. Current volunteers have donated approximately 1,000 hours per quarter and 2,000 miles per quarter.