BILLINGS — May 18 was National CASA day, a day to honor and celebrate the Court Appointed Special Advocates who advocate in favor of those in foster care.
Advocates usually take in one child or a group of siblings at a time. The advocate then visits the child at least once a month, finds out what they need, how they’re doing, and various other details. The advocate then attends the court hearings and speaks for the child who cannot speak for themselves.
“We know that kids who have an advocate tend to do better in school, they find permanency quicker, the permanency is more likely to last, and they receive more services,” said Drew Macleod, the executive director of CASA of Yellowstone County.
“We have around 300 advocates and there are around 800 children in foster care in Yellowstone County,” said Emily Gaudreau, the development director for the organization.
To become an advocate, you must go through a training program that is provided by CASA. They host four trainings a year and encourage anyone to apply. If you are interested, you can contact CASA of Yellowstone County.
“I’d encourage anyone who has a spark and wants to help children to consider becoming an advocate. Really give it a try, go through the training, and see if it's for you,” said Andrea Horrell of CASA of Yellowstone County.