Voices for Children CASA of Boulder County – a grantee of your Community Foundation – is “all about building healthier communities,” says Jacob Harmon, Executive Director.
“The work of our volunteers – whom we call CASAs [Court Appointed Special Advocates] – supports the most vulnerable people in our community,” continues Jacob. “We work with children who have been abused and neglected by the people who are supposed to take care of them, and protect them. We aim to change the trajectory of their lives by training and supporting volunteers to advocate for the needs of these children going through the court system.”
Indeed, CASA volunteers make sure that the court system hears the voices of the young and defenseless, and provides these children with a consistent, positive adult in their lives – an adult who will tell them that they are worthy of love.
“We can draw a straight line between abused children and incarcerated adults, and homeless adults,” adds Jacob. “The path that a lot these kids are on is not a good one, and that’s through no fault of their own.
“Most of these kids will have moved and changed schools more times than they can count, and have probably had several caseworkers and caregivers.”
That’s where the organization’s 252 active volunteers step in to “work with these kids to show them that people care, and to help them get to the point where they can move past their trauma and build lives for themselves … which builds an overall healthier community,” Jacob says.
The organization’s website states that nearly 1,714 children in Boulder County – including Boulder, Longmont, Lafayette, Louisville and our mountain communities – experience abuse or neglect each year. In response, Voices for Children CASA has grown dramatically from a program that served only a fraction of kids in our local child welfare system to a program that can serve every victim of child abuse in the Boulder County court.
CASA volunteers range in age from 21 to 88, and come from all over the world and all walks of life. Today, there are more than 950 CASA programs serving children in all 50 states.