In our community right now, there are a number of abused and neglected children. She/he may be the very child in your son or daughters classroom, who may have had to move homes and schools several times in the past year. He/she may be the child that does not join in the games during recess or P.E. and who sits by themselves at lunch or who may very well be a new face in your neighborhood.

Our Child welfare and foster care system is full of compassionate social service workers, lawyers, judges, and foster families, but according to statistics for 2011 in Tennessee alone there were 7,647 children/youth entering our foster care system which is up from 6,786 in 2010 (kids count data center) Due to the high number of children entering the foster care system each year our system is strained to the point they are unable to protect the rights of each child in our system.

This just isn’t a problem; it is a violation of their human rights. A child is unable to defend their own rights; however a CASA advocate can step in and be their voice!

CASA of Henderson County is part of a national network of nonprofit organizations which train and support advocates —these are people like yourself and I — we speak and act as advocates for the best interests of abused and neglected children within our court system right here in Henderson County. We are appointed by judges to each case, and work closely with the service workers, and lawyers to ensure each child has a voice in all proceeding with their case. With the help of a CASA advocate, a child is half as likely to remain in the foster care system, and that much more likely to find a safe and permanent home. We all know that children are best raised with their families and our job as advocates is to assist these families with the tools needed to be successful in raising their own child/children.

Every child has a right to thrive and be successful, to be treated with dignity, and to live in a safe, loving home. Every child deserves a fighting chance.

Once grown, these children can and will become our future lawyers, doctors, teachers and leaders. By going through a period of fear and vulnerability, these children learn with the help of an advocate they have rights and a voice. Each child learns to believe in him or herself again. As an advocate we are faced with many challenges, however standing up for a child is our main focus and goal. These children need to know someone cares and believes in them and are willing to stand up for what is in their best interest.

Join myself and CASA of Henderson County by standing up and supporting the children in our community. Please consider becoming an Advocate or donate today!!

On behalf of the children we serve in Henderson County thank you for your support!!!

Annie Searock
Executive Director