Light Up the Park took place on Saturday, July 25th from 6pm to 8pm in DeRidder, Louisiana’s West Park. Participants donated $10 to receive glow sticks which they walked or ran with on the path around the park.
Birgit Moore has been an Office Administrator at Jay’s Carpet One since 2002, and has also been a CASA advocate for about the same amount of time. She said that owner Keith Hooper has been essential in supporting her involvement with CASA over the years.
CASA advocates represent children in custody of the state, and represent their best interest in court. The children that CASA advocates work with have been removed from their home at no fault of their own. They have faced trauma, such as abuse, and/or neglect, and are now living in a foster home, or children's home. They navigate the court system with an ever-changing field of professionals caring for physical needs. What they lack is that one go-to person that remains consistent throughout their journey to reunification with a family. That's where CASA advocates step in.
Because of their special training and relationship with the child, CASA advocates are able to offer the judge a more unique perspective, and often are able to identify and communicate needs of the child that may go unmet should the advocate not be present in the court room. CASA volunteers come from all different walks of life and educational backgrounds. For many abused children in care, the CASA volunteer is the only constant adult presence in their lives.
The children pictured above are not children in care or assigned to CASA, they are participants of the event.
Photo credit : Becky Fejarang with Barefoot Photography of DeRidder, LA.
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