CASA of Larimer County offers two types of programs. The first is the Court-Appointed Special Advocates (which is what the letters in CASA stand for) program and their second program is Family Connections. Families can only participate in the first program by the court appointing them into that program. Anyone and their children can reach out to CASA for the second program.

CASA is located at 3105 E Harmony Rd in Fort Collins. They offer many resources like a nurturing parenting program, supervised visits, provide supportive case management for children/families, and more.

Volunteers commit to 12-18 months on a case. They receive a court appointment of a child or a group of siblings. A volunteer would meet with those kids regularly, if not weekly then at least twice a month. They are talking to schools and doctors to gather information for the court so that it can be presented in a factual report and the court knows the child's needs.

The fun part is that the CASA's are able to spend time with these kids never demanding anything from them. They can go to the park, listen and sing to music in the car or get some ice cream. Letting kids be kids without a worry for at least that amount of time.

When I asked Jen Ryan, Executive Director, what has stuck with her these 6 years that she has been with CASA, she said, "I think the best memories are those times that you are with kids and there is all this stuff going on in their world, there are placements and there are court issues, and there are school issues and all these things happening - and in the time that you get to be with the child they get to just be a kid. Those times when you see the child just relax and laugh and enjoy that they are a child and those worldly issues and problems kind of just disappear for a little while."

Kids deserve to just be kids and not have to carry the burden of life problems around with them. The fact that people take their personal time to make sure this happens for these kids is incredible. "We are so grateful to be in this community, so supportive of what we do. Just the fact that last year over 100 community members chose to come in and go through a pretty rigorous screening and training process and then make this huge commitment to children. I think it's truly an investment in our community. I think every time that we devote time and energy to positively impact children, we're positively impacting the community we live in," Ryan added.

CASA is having its annual Light of Hope Event on March 27th. It's a luncheon at the Embassy Suites. This is a good time to go and learn about CASA and ways to get involved. Whether you chose to be a donor or if you have time that you can give to a child as a court-appointed special advocate.

Learn more about CASA of Larimer County by listening to the full "Tuned In To NoCo" interview with Jen Ryan below.

 

Teacher Tuesday: January

Townsquare Media's Teacher Tuesday has been recognizing teachers who have skillfully adapted to the times and kept our Northern Colorado children learning all school year. We've only just returned from the holidays, but teachers and education staff are already working hard, and they deserve a prize for all they do.