You can help CASA help abused children

If you are near Rochelle on a clear day, there is a good chance you will see skydivers in the air. My good friend — and CASA’s — gave herself the sky dive experience on her 80th birthday and is ready to go again. This new-to-Rochelle business has had many considering it.

I think I would do fine with the parachute and the landing, but the exit from the plane and the free fall make me nervous, even though I would be harnessed with an experienced diver who would control the parachute. I get to decide if I want to face my fear or not. This made me think of fears that some children HAVE to face: Will I get fed today? Will I get teased at school for wearing the same dirty clothes again? Will one of my parents hit me today? Where would I go if Mom and Dad weren’t here?

Neglect and abuse can occur when a parent or other significant adult suffers severe mental stress. Economic stresses can aggravate neglect and abuse. New cases of each are brought to the court system, even as other cases are resolved.

Some children are removed from the home they know. They have a caseworker who explains what is happening. They are told that a judge will decide what is best for them. Some of these children also have a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) who explains the court process to them, a person who checks on them regularly, a person who talks to the important people in their lives, a person who shares their opinions with the judge. This volunteer is “harnessed” with the child, serves as a companion on the free fall and the parachute ride to a soft landing: a stable and secure home.

If you would like to make a difference in the life of a child, please consider volunteering as an advocate. Training sessions for Carroll, Lee and Ogle County CASA will start in mid-September. Please call Vanessa White at (815) 288-1901 for more information and an application.

Judy Truckenbrod
CASA Board of Directors
Dixon, Ill.

From the Aug. 10-16, 2011, issue

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