The CASA of Gila County program has recently seen a significant increase in the number of people interested in becoming a CASA volunteer.

CASA has recieved a dozen applications since the end of December with 18 additional inquiries received through CASA’s Facebook social media page.

The need for more volunteers still exists however, as there are 70 children in the southern section of the county who are wards of the court, with only five of these children receiving advocacy services at this time.

The northern section of the county has 42 children involved with the courts, with 28 being assigned a CASA.

Of the new applications, 11 were from people living in the Payson/Pine/Star Valley area with only one applicant living in Globe.

The vision of the program is to have an advocate for every abused and neglected child in Gila County. Even with endless recruiting efforts, the county program continues to struggle obtaining an interest from that area of the county to help them meet their goal.

“Many of the folks who inquire about the program and time commitment respond by stating this is something that will have to wait until they retire,” comments coordinator Patti Dremler.

“The citizens of Gila County are compassionate and want to help, but just fear the responsibilities and demands will be too hard to fulfill with their other daily obligations,” she continued.

On an average, volunteers spend 15-20 hours a month on their case with flexibility to make one’s own schedule. “We do have working advocates in Globe who are managing just fine with their assigned cases,” said Dremler.

“Another option is to partner with someone else to Co-CASA on a case, allowing the two volunteers to break up some of the responsibilities,” she said.

CASA volunteers provide support and advocacy for children who are either in foster care or in the care of relatives. Volunteers receive in-depth training and ongoing support from their local program as well as from the National CASA/GAL Association. Across the nation, CASA Pre-Service Volunteer Training serves as the foundation of which every volunteer learns the principles of best interest advocacy.

The curriculum has just recently been revised to highlight the shared values and build the skills, self-awareness and points of view necessary for volunteers to be most effective.

To learn more about how you can become a part of the CASA team and make a difference in the life of an abused or neglected child here in your community, contact the CASA of Gila County Program staff by calling 928-474-7145 or visiting the website: www.casaofgilacounty.org

“Even if you work full time, this is still a very manageable volunteer opportunity,” Dremler said.

Contact the reporter tmcquerrey@payson.com

Contact the reporter 

tmcquerrey@payson.com

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