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Virtual Reality

Children and youth in foster care have often survived a lifetime of uncertainty and change, both before entering foster care and during foster care. Many have experienced adversity and trauma leaving them more vulnerable to the changes that come with a lack of in-person contact with their parents, relatives and friends. As such, social distancing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, can re-awaken feelings of loneliness and isolation that many of OUR children have experienced. As such, it is imperative that we help OUR children feel connected, albeit virtually, through meaningful video visitations with parents, siblings, relatives, friends, child welfare workers, and other advocates, including their CAP attorneys and CASAs.  
While in-person visits are preferred, social distancing has caused us to expand our knowledge and use of social media. Upon resuming in-person visitations, we can further utilize virtual visitations to enhance OUR children’s meaningful interaction with their parents and other loved ones. In addition to in-person visits, virtual visits can be used for the parents to assist their children with homework, to read bedtime stories to them, and even watch movies together virtually. So, if there is any “silver lining” to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is that the necessity to use virtual technology has caused us to think about how we can utilize technology in the future to improve our child welfare system. After all, the future is a “virtual reality”!             

Looking Forward to Summer 2020

As the Summer 2020 approaches, the CASA Program would like to first begin by reflecting on a few positive thoughts, despite dealing with so many uncertainties during these unprecedented times. We are grateful to those trailblazers, who carried out the vision 40 years ago to establish the CASA Program in Las Vegas, which is known as the Eighth Judicial District Court CASA Program. It was the Judges, Commissioners, Court Administration staff, other community leaders, partnering agencies, and most importantly the brave volunteers who stepped forward to provide a voice for the abused and neglected children, who did not, at the time, have anyone else representing their best interest in the Court. As we embark on our 40 th Year Anniversary, we remain very appreciative of all those who continue to support the CASA Program and its mission of representing the best interest of abused and neglected children. Although the 40 th Year Anniversary celebration, which was planned for September 2020, has been postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic, the CASA program staff, along with the support of the CASA Foundation and Friends of CASA, will continue exploring other creative ideas that might be available to commemorate this monumental milestone. To our nearly 400 CASA volunteers, we thank you for your unwavering dedication, commitment and most importantly, for the sometimes thankless service that you provide to support the children and families who are in the child welfare system.  Read more .

Summer is officially upon us, officially despite some continuing closures, we hope there are still some great activities available in the community for children in foster care. In the past, during these months the CASA Foundation has covered the cost of plane tickets so children in foster care can maintain significant family relationships out of state. Summer camps through the Boys and Girls Clubs and Community Centers, are other fun option that have benefitted these children. UNLV, among others, typically holds tech camps and reading camps. Horseback riding lessons and Princess Ballerina camp are also highlights from past summers. Sports and swimming lessons are also beginning again and are a big hit for children. The Foundation will generally pay for two weeks of a requested camp. The Foundation will continue to pay for driving lessons for those 18 and up who have their learner's permits and have remained under voluntary jurisdiction. Thanks to community sponsors and private donations, the CASA Foundation is able to help many youth in foster care participate in many of these types of activities so they can experience a sense of normalcy. 

For those of you working with our youth in care, just determine what your child in foster care is interested in and match that with what is available near the child. As always, requests can be made at our website. Happy summer from the CASA Foundation! Let's ensure that our children in foster care make some great memories this year.  
Are you interested in becoming a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer assigned to advocate for the best interest of a child in foster care? We need your help!

Call our office for more information (702-455-4306)
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) volunteers provide advocacy for children who have been abused and neglected so that the children can thrive in safe and permanent homes.