When Lauren Waldon was six-years-old, she was put in foster care, that is where she met Sylvia.
“The first time I met her she said, “I just want you to know I’m here for you and that’s it”, said Waldon.
Sylvia was a CASA volunteer.
CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates.
They work with children in the foster system until they find a permanent home.
Their job is to be a consistent figure who is always working in the child's best interest.
“You don’t really know who to trust. You don’t know who to talk to. You don’t know who you can really confide in and I can honestly say that your CASA volunteer really will be that confidant”, said Waldon.
Sylvia worked with Waldon until she was 11-years-old and adopted by her step-mom.
Waldon is just one of the CASA success stories.
CASA of the 2nd Judicial District of Arkansas currently has 103 volunteers, that is enough to serve 65% of the foster kids in their district. They are needing more though, and that volunteer could be you.
“You can work in a factory, you can be a waitress, it’s not necessary to work in the legal system or to be a family service worker. We train you with what you need to know”, said CASA Advocate Coordinator, Connie Lindley.
CASA NEA has a bigger goal of putting an end to child abuse one child at a time.
“It is normally something they learn as they grew up so if we can stop that and get the cycle broken then we’ve had a good day”, said Lindley.
And to this day, Sylvia is still a part of Waldon’s life.
You can be the person Sylvia was to Waldon, for a child in the system.
“They just need a little attention, a little guidance, and they just need someone to be their voice”, said Waldon.
You can learn more about being a CASA volunteer or sign-up by visiting neacasa.org.