CASA of Gila County Celebrates Reunified Families National Family Reunification Month Recognized in June

Courtesy photo On June 4, 2020 Allison Lloyd completed her Oath of Service before the Honorable Judge Timothy M. Wright in Payson, Arizona. The Honorable Judge Timothy M. Wright, CASA Allison and CASA Coordinator Patti Dremler.

Family is always first priority for the CASA of Gila County program. When safe, it is in the child’s best interest to return to their parents (family reunification) and grow up surrounded by their own family, relatives, heritage and culture.

During June, National Family Reunification Month, CASA of Gila County recognizes the effort and dedication parents take to overcome challenges and move forward as a stronger and safer family.

In the time period of July 2018 through June 2019 (FY19), 4,612 children exited the foster care system due to being reunified with their families in Arizona. Nearly 60 percent of the 13,000 Arizona children currently in foster care have a case plan goal of family reunification.

“All children need the care, love, security, and stability of their family to provide a solid foundation for personal growth, development and maturity,” said Emily Nader. “Reunification Month is a time to honor those parents who are working hard to bring their children home.”

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) are every day community members who volunteer their time to advocate for children who have been removed from their homes due to physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, or emotional abuse. They follow the case’s progress and report back to the judge with their own recommendations based on the child’s best interests. CASAs witness parents’ commitment to make the changes necessary to bring their children home.

In Gila County, there are 23 volunteer advocates fighting for the best interests of 43 children. This means 110 children still need the care and support of a CASA volunteer, with the majority of those cases being from the Globe area.

Volunteers come in all shapes and sizes. No specific background or training is needed to become a CASA volunteer. Anyone 21 years of age or older, who can pass a thorough background check and complete 30 hours of free training, is encouraged to apply.

CASA of Gila County is currently offering a new flexible pre-service training in an online interactive virtual environment. There are multiple options for class times, so you are able to choose the time that would best fit your schedule.

To learn more about becoming a CASA Volunteer, call us at 928-402-4427, email [email protected] or visit our website at www.CASAofGilaCounty.org.

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