By: Value News | Category: Special Interest | Issue: February 2008
Creek County CASA Volunteers (L to R):  Jean Davidson, Traci Huff, Jim Hasselbrack, Christe Walkup, Charlotte Berryhill, Elaine Tittle, Cassie Smart, Kay Donathan, Carolyn Nicholson, Tanya Garrett, Dean Wise, and Saundra Larson.
Are you interested in helping children who have been abused or neglected? Creek County CASA is looking for a handful of concerned citizens to stand up for some of our community's most vulnerable children.
You may be surprised to learn Oklahoma ranks first, per capita, in deaths of children caused by child abuse. A recent report from the U.S. Administration for Children and Families found that from October 2004 through September 2005, 41 Oklahoma children died from abuse or neglect. This gives Oklahoma a rate of 4.8 deaths per 100,000 children; the national rate is 1.96 deaths per 100,000 children.
Each year, nearly two-hundred children in Creek County must be removed from their homes and placed into temporary foster care because their parents cannot - or will not - take care of them. You can make a difference in the lives of these children. Creek County CASA trains people just like you to speak for the best interests of these children in court and to help find them safe, permanent homes.
CASA volunteers are ordinary people who do extraordinary things for children. No special experience is required, as you will be trained along with other caring individuals interested in giving hope to an abused and neglected child. Joy Hellard explains her thoughts on what it’s like being a CASA volunteer “I feel so good when I go home after having a meeting with my CASA child. I enjoy sitting down and playing a game or just talking about her day. I see that smile and I know I am making a difference in her confused world. It is very rewarding for me to be part of a team that is making a difference. Some kids don’t know what it is to be children. They don’t know what love or acceptance is; but we are able to give them that.”
Children with a CASA volunteer benefit in countless ways. They are more likely to be placed in a safe, permanent home; more likely to receive better services; and more likely to have fewer placement changes.
Please call Tanya Garrett at (918)224-6492 or reach her by email at eat0@eau0eav0eaw0 to learn more about our Creek County February 2008 training class and to request an application.