AT&T contributes to ‘Cottages for Casa’ to support local Child Advocacy Group

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen
Pictured from left to right: Chris Broadwater, Louisiana State Representative – District 86, Berry Burnside, AT&T Regional Director, Rob Carlisle, CEO Child Advocacy Services and Ginger Cangelosi, Community Outreach Director.

oday AT&T announced a $3,500 donation to the Cottages for CASA playhouse fundraiser to generate public awareness and funding to support the work of CASA and Child Advocacy Center services in the 10 parish area. Local builders, painters and designers have already started creating two unique playhouses to be raffled with grand prize winners to be drawn in November.

Court Appointed Special Advocates Program, or CASA, is a non-profit, 501 (c)(3) that recruits, trains and supervises volunteers who serve as powerful voices for abused and neglected children as they navigate through the court system. Volunteers who serve as Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) are community members appointed by aj ud,ge to advocate, on a one-on-one basis, for children in need of care. CASA's report to the judge and o't:hers in the child welfare system on the child's behalf. A CASA stands beside the child with the primary goal of helping them reach a safe and permanent home.

“A child with a CASA receives more services and is 50% less likely to re-enter the child welfare system,” stated State Representative Chris Broadwater. “Each of the paid staffers and volunteers play important roles in helping these abused and neglected children move into a permanent and stable home which will hopefully mean in the long-term we are creating a stronger community.”

“We applaud Representative Broadwater for being an advocate for the CASA program,” said CASA CEO Rob Carlisle. “Our organization serves a 10-parish area, and we are in constant need of resources in order to maintain enough staff members and volunteers to handle the volume of cases that come to us.”

Last year, there were approximately 36,357 reported cases of abuse or neglect in Louisiana. Through the CASA program, Child Advocacy Services was able to appoint 209 volunteers to represent 454 children through the CASA program, and 162 of those children were placed in safe and permanent homes.