The Biddy Mason Foundation of First AME Church of Los Angeles has teamed up with the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) to improve the lives of thousands of abused and neglected children in Los Angeles County foster care.
The relationship, initiated by FAME member Samuel Herod, allows CASA to hold informational meetings on the well-known and centrally located campus. FAME’s location as well as its long history of social involvement, attracts many people in South Angeles to attend and learn more about CASA.
According to its website, CASA “volunteers are appointed by judges to watch over and advocate for abused and neglected children, to make sure they don’t get lost in the overburdened legal and social service system or languish in inappropriate group or foster homes. Volunteers stay with each case until it is closed and the child is placed in a safe, permanent home.”
Herod believes the union of FAME and CASA has been a great match along with increasing the number of volunteers in the program.
“One of the reasons we got involved was because I’m a CASA and an AME. The reception has been phenomenal. We recruited over 25 CASAs at one event,” said Herod.
A recent meeting at FAME featured a presentation about CASA, a testimony from a volunteer and a question and answer session.
“This is my second year as a CASA. I have three siblings. One is 18, 16 and one just turned nine,” explained Carol Truscott.
“The two older ones said that before they got a CASA, they saw secondary education as unbelievable. But, after I talked about what they wanted for themselves, they were motivated to go that route. One graduated this past June, going to LACC and her goal is to transfer to USC and become a child psychologist.”
Daniel and Sharon Battle were among the nearly 50 people were in attendance. The couple came out to learn more about becoming CASAs.
“I feel like I received quite a bit of education from this meeting today and I’m going to share it. If the Lord sees fit for us to do it, then we will. If not, we’ll at least pass it on to someone else who can,” said Sharon.
The need for CASA volunteers is ongoing. To learn more about the program, visit casala.org.