CASA Volunteer of the Month – Dana and Kathy Crow – A Volunteer Power Couple
Each month, Child Advocates of Northeast Oklahoma (CANO) celebrates the advocacy of one of our CASA volunteers. This month, we have the unique opportunity to celebrate the service of Dana and Kathy Crow. Dana and Kathy serve alongside one another as volunteer advocates in Ottawa County.
The Crows have spent their entire lives dedicated to improving the lives of children. Dana was a teacher for 40 years while Kathy has been in the community mental health field for 38 years. They both have an obvious love and passion for working with children, improving their lives, and leading them towards successful lives.
Serving as a CASA volunteer is no walk in the park. In one case the Crows have served on, the children were scattered across the state, some being an hour and a half away. Allocating time to visit each child has been the biggest hurdle in their volunteering. And yet, their efforts are well worth it.
The Crows have seen the fruit of their labor as the children are in the process of reuniting with their mother. In fact, that has been the biggest reward they have experienced. When children go back to their parents and into a safe, loving home, there can be no better outcome.
When asked what they would tell someone considering becoming a CASA volunteer the Crows said, “You can’t find a more rewarding endeavor.” We couldn’t agree more. The work of a CASA is difficult, but changing the trajectory of a child’s life and story is well worth the effort. As an organization, we are lucky to have faithful volunteers like the Crows serving the precious children in our community.
Child Advocates of Northeast Oklahoma needs more extraordinary volunteers, like the Crows, who are willing to serve the most vulnerable children in our community. Like the Crows, you could volunteer alongside your spouse or you could serve individually. The important thing is to serve. If you are inspired by their story and want to learn more, do not hesitate to call our office at 918-923-7276. There are new volunteer trainings throughout the year so you can start immediately.
Volunteer Your Time to Change a Child’s Life
Nobody longs for a safe and loving family more than a child in foster care. As a court-appointed special advocate CASA volunteer, you are empowered by the courts to help make this dream a reality. You will not only bring positive change to the lives of these vulnerable children, but also their children and generations to come. And in doing so, you will enrich your life as well.
What Do CASA Volunteers Do?
CASA volunteers listen first. Then they act.
Volunteers get to know the child by talking with everyone in that child’s life: parents and relatives, foster parents, teachers, medical professionals, attorneys, social workers and others. They use the information they gather to inform judges and others of what the child needs and what will be the best permanent home for them.
Who Can Be a Volunteer?
You do not have to be a lawyer or a social worker to be a volunteer. We welcome people from all walks of life. We are simply looking for people who care about children and have common sense. As a volunteer, you will be thoroughly trained and well supported by professional staff to help you through each case.
You must be at least 21, pass a background check, participate in a 30-hour pre-service training course and agree to stay with a case until it is closed (a year and a half on average).
What Are the Requirements to Be a CASA?
- Demonstrates emotional maturity
- Is objective and flexible
- Exhibits self assurance and assertiveness
- Has the ability to make decisions and set goals
- Is willing to commit to the program for a minimum of 24 months
- Demonstrates the ability to write and speak clearly and concisely
CASAs are not:
- CASAs are not Big Brothers or Big Sisters
- CASAs are not attorneys
- CASA are not social workers
- CASAs are not rescuers
- Friends of the Court
- Eyes and ears of the Court
- Independent and objective people who represent the child’s best interest
Do you live outside the five counties we serve and want to volunteer in your community? Go to www.oklahomacasa.org to find a program near you.
CASA Video: I Am for the Child
Did you know that 400,000 children in America are still waiting for their CASA volunteer? Waiting for that one trusted adult who will stick with them until their case is resolved. Waiting because today CASA can serve only 35% of the children in the foster care system. Waiting for YOU!
CASA Video: Everyday Heroes
Everyday Heroes highlights CASA volunteers making a difference in the lives of abused and neglected children. It provides a rare opportunity to hear directly from children about their homes before and after a CASA volunteer came into their lives.
Use Link to Become a CASA Volunteer
Are YOU ready to become a CASA volunteer? Simply use the action button below to access the required forms and additional information about the application process. An abused and/or neglected child is waiting for YOUR help!
CASA Video: Former First Lady Laura Bush
Child abuse is an epidemic across this nation. Currently, fewer than half the children in foster care have a CASA volunteer to stand up for them. Former First Lady Laura Bush focuses on the need for more Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs).