By Michelle Meek, Canton Resident
Director of Community Engagement, The Children’s Haven
CASA of Cherokee County trains, empowers, and supports volunteers as Court-Appointed Special Advocates [CASA] to advocate for the best interests of children who come into the court system as a result of abuse or neglect. This year CASA of Cherokee County celebrates its thirtieth year of providing advocacy services for foster children in Cherokee County.
CASA volunteers strive to ensure that every child has a safe, permanent home and the opportunity to succeed. These volunteers are a stable influence in the lives of foster children whose whole world has been turned upside down because of abuse or neglect. These advocates give children hope by giving them a voice.
More than four hundred children are in foster care in Cherokee County, and each deserves a CASA who advocates for their best interests and ensures their needs are being met. CASA volunteers are specially trained people from all walks of life and backgrounds. They are appointed by the court to speak up for a child’s best interests. By meeting with teachers, doctors, lawyers, social workers, and foster parents, CASA volunteers improve each child’s representation both in and out of court. Often the CASA volunteer is the one consistent person in the child’s life, establishing a close one-on-one relationship at a very difficult time.
Donna, a Cherokee County CASA volunteer, shares her experience with a CASA child: “At her adoption this child gave me a picture of herself, and on the back she wrote, ‘Thank you for changing my life.’” This simple gesture says much about the role of CASA and the need for this role in the lives of foster children whose futures are uncertain.
The Children’s Haven
CASA is a program of The Children’s Haven. The mission of The Children’s Haven is to promote the health and happiness of children impacted by abuse and neglect. To support, educate, and strengthen families, in addition to the CASA program, The Children’s Haven provides the Wellstar Family Visitation Center, Prevent Child Abuse Cherokee in-home parenting support, and a Chin Up site-based mentorship program. The Children’s Haven also offers a Caregivers’ Closet that is open to foster families and relative caregivers to provide needed items to care for the children in their homes.
Every child experiencing foster care deserves to have a CASA volunteer solely focused on advocating for their best interests. Spanish-speaking volunteers are also needed. Reach out and get involved today!
Cherokee County CASA volunteer David says, “I have volunteered for The Children’s Haven for over five years. It is rewarding to know that the time I spend volunteering truly makes a difference in [the] life of a child in foster care. The training, support, and recognition I get is far superior to any of the other organizations I have volunteered with. The Children’s Haven is staffed by passionate and dedicated people, and I highly recommend this organization for a rewarding volunteer experience.”
CASA training begins in February. To learn how you can get involved, visit CherokeeChildrensHaven.org.
You may also contact Mandy@CASAcherokee.org or call 770-345-3274.
The Children’s Haven is located at 1083 Marietta Highway in Canton.
Second Annual Adult Prom
2023 marks the Second Annual Adult Prom benefiting The Children’s Haven. Enjoy dancing with great music from our DJ, delicious food, drinks (three tickets included and cash bar available), silent auction, photo station, late night snacks, and fun surprises!
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