Twelve people recently stood up in a local courtroom to be sworn-in as new volunteers in the Alexandria/Arlington CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) Program. They speak different languages, come from different ethnic communities, and work in very different professions. They are medical professionals, attorneys, human services professionals and government workers. They are highly qualified, motivated, multicultural and multilingual members of our community and – after six weeks of intensive training – they are ready to advocate for abused and neglected children desperately in need of a voice.
They are richly diverse – just like the children they will now speak for in the courtroom.
This diversity is key to appointing the best possible volunteer for each child. Speaking a native language or relating to the immigrant experience or understanding an ethnic community can be invaluable in a CASA volunteer’s work with children and families.
Through recruitment and training, we work to ensure every CASA volunteer is passionate, capable and willing to give of their time and skills. But that is hopefully where the similarities end – the best volunteer base is a diverse volunteer base.
Who do you know who could give a unique voice to a child?
p.s. In Alexandria and Arlington, we have a special need for bilingual Hispanic volunteers, African American volunteers and male volunteers. Our next Volunteer Orientation takes place on July 14th at 12:00 noon. Join us!