The Otero and Lincoln County CASA Program
The mission of Serviceheart, inc. Non-profit, CASA Program of Otero and Lincoln County is to provide specially selected and trained community volunteers to advocate for abused and neglected children in the pursuit of safe and permanent homes. The CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) program recruits, trains and supervises volunteers who advocate for this vulnerable population. CASA’s goal is to break the cycle of child abuse and neglect, in our commitment in advocating for the children in foster care. CASA works within the 12th Judicial Court. Serviceheart continues to be committed to foster children of all ages by offering and supporting career options for foster youth ages 18-21 aging out of the system to be on their own as adults.
The Serviceheart CASA program started in Spring of 2012, volunteer advocating for children in foster care. In our history, Serviceheart CASA has formed collaborative relationships throughout the community to serve the best interest of children in need. Since 2012 CASA volunteers and staff have stood up and provided a powerful voice for over 350 children in need of safe, permanent, nurturing homes. CASA is serving each Otero and Lincoln County child who is in foster care today. Children are assigned to trained volunteer advocates who come from various backgrounds. The Children’s Court Judge listens to and carefully considers CASA driven recommendations and observations at each hearing called for every child in the foster care system in Otero and Lincoln County.
"A child has many things going on for them while they're in the system and we want to make sure, along the way that nothing is falling through the cracks and checking in on the child in the foster home, as the case moves along. What CASA's do is give children a voice. Everybody at one time needs help, adults need help, animals need help, but there's something about helping a child that is in the middle of such a challenging traumatic event that personally gives me purpose. I think it's that kind of person that gets drawn to CASA. CASA Volunteering doesn't take a lot of time, but it's such important time. "CASA's make a difference, I've witnessed changes happen in the best interest of the child over and over when it has been brought to the attention of all stakeholders and the children's court judges in our local judicial system." -- Nancy Harris, Executive Director