The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services and Louisiana Court Appointed Special Advocates have partnered up this month for a major drive to recruit foster parents and CASA volunteers across the state, which is in serious need of volunteers.

7,900 children are in foster care for abuse or neglect in the Bayou state and only 3,900 have access to a CASA volunteer. Judge Kathleen Stewart-Richie cites a national study that says those volunteers have a major impact on children in the system.

“Evidence reflects that children with a CASA volunteer spend up to five months less time in foster care, than children in foster care without a CASA volunteer.”

Casa volunteers are trained and supervised judicial appointees who must be above 18 and have a background check to qualify. Richie says these requirements are rooted in the child’s safety.

“The CASA volunteer has contact with the child and all of those adults who contribute to the child’s wellbeing, school teachers, therapists.”

Richie says once a volunteer has qualified the workload to benefit a child is simple.

“The CASA volunteers are required to attend one face to face contact one hour a month with the child, and then there is some time to write up a report to send to the court. But you can be more involved than that.”

For more information about volunteering visit Louisianacasa.org.