We are building a permanent space for Jasper County CASA which will positively alter our community by making our organization’s goal to provide an advocate for each child in foster care even more attainable.
We are quickly outgrowing our current location and are unable to provide a space for our volunteers and children to interact and play. We need a space that will accommodate our ever-growing training and staffing needs; however more importantly, a permanent home for CASA will provide a place of connection, healing, and normalcy to the lives of children impacted by child abuse and neglect.
At our house, children who have struggled to feel safe during their lives will be able to spend time in a cozy setting talking and laughing with their advocates. This home will increase the comfort level of interaction between advocates and children to produce long-lasting life changes. When building relationships with children to advocate for their best interests, our volunteers need access to private spaces for confidential conversations. With many of these children living in busy foster homes with several other people, it is difficult for the CASA and child to find locations to have important conversations. Our children need confidentiality to feel safe.
Nearly all of the children served by Jasper County CASA have endured some form of trauma that impacts their sense of safety, and many of them have never experienced the warmth of an inviting home environment. Constant crisis thwarts dreaming of the future, but at the new location, children will be surrounded by safety, consistency, and support so their dreams can be nurtured and encouraged. Providing a location that is safe, comfortable, and designed with their needs in mind will be significant in their healing process.
Our volunteers who advocate for younger children have expressed the important need for outdoor and indoor spaces where their children can be carefree. Our advocates with older youth would love to teach their teens key life skills most of us take for granted, such as cooking or how to study. A consistent, centralized location where advocates, parents, guardians, and children know that they can safely grow, learn, and play will put their minds at ease.
The new location will provide a space for volunteer safety and security as well as flexibility for training and on-going support. Advocates will be prepared to listen, help, and voice the best interests of the children because of the knowledge and experience they gain through training. Our space will provide a place for volunteers to come learn together and encourage one another.
In addition to providing support for our volunteers and the children they serve, establishing our own place in the community will help push us forward by providing permanency for our program and ultimately the kids we serve. Increased visibility in the community will enhance our ability to recruit additional advocates and help us progress toward our goal of providing an advocate for every child in foster care by 2024. This location will be a visible, positive symbol – a reflection of the caring individuals who champion for their children far into the future.
The interior will include office space for six employees; a multipurpose area with play areas, storage, and multimedia ready training/meeting space; a fully functional kitchen area with appliances which will serve as a space for advocates to cook and bake with their children; a lounge area for staff to collaborate, CASAs to draw or do activities with their kids, and older youth to have conversational seating areas to hang out with their CASAs.