"We can all work to pave a positive path to a child's future of hope and emotional security. Making a positive difference in the life of a child is one definition of legacy."
-Alan Abramowitz, Executive Director, Florida Guardian ad Litem Program
What is CASA / GAL?
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) and Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) is a network of over 950 community-based programs that recruit, train and support citizen-volunteers to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in courtrooms and communities. Volunteer advocates—empowered directly by the courts—offer judges the critical information they need to ensure that each child’s rights and needs are being attended to while in foster care. Volunteers stay with children until they are placed in loving permanent homes. For many abused children, a CASA/GAL volunteer is the only constant adult presence in their lives.
Tell me more about CASA & GAL locally?
Did you know that more than 35,000 children in Florida are abused and neglected? Currently, there are 28,000 children in Dependency Court in Florida.
There are over 550 children in the Dependency system in Osceola County. Of those 550 children, only 350 have a volunteer GAL assigned to their case. With that being said, did you also know that a child who is assigned a GAL is half as likely to languish in foster care? Often times, these kids are bounced around from foster home to foster home, and their case workers often fluctuate-leaving them with uncertainty and no one they can truly trust.
Osceola GAL's mission is for every child to have a voice. We can all make a difference in a child's life!
How does Kappa Alpha Theta as a Fraternity support CASA?
Kappa Alpha Theta Foundation has committed $1 million over the next 3 years (2016-2019) to National CASA. At the 2016 Convention, Foundation presented a check to National CASA for $200,000 to show the start of our commitment.
Read more about how Theta supports CASA here.
How does the Central Florida Alumnae Chapter support CASA & GAL?
In 2014 we renewed our local relationship with the GAL program at the 9th Judicial Circuit of Osceola County, and formed a wonderful partnership for years to come.
For our first supporting effort in 2014, we collected new teddy bears that were given to the children during their adoption ceremonies and time in the court room.
In 2015, we helped support the FunFest for Foster Families event through securing numerous monetary and in-kind sponsorships. Our Theta members also volunteered their time at the event to help it to be a wonderful day of normalcy for the children.
After seeing the numerous ways our time and efforts were making a difference we decided that FunFest would be our annual Day of Service event. We are looking forward to the 2016 FunFest!
Since 2015, our fellow Theta and Central Florida board member, Laura Klossner, has served on the Board for Voices for Osceola's Children.
For more information about any of these events, or to find out how to volunteer with CASA/GAL in your area, please contact Laura Klossner at firstname.lastname@example.org or 407-719-0495.