Northwest Rocky Mountain CASA
Court Appointed Special Advocates
More than 700,000 children experience abuse or neglect each year in the United States. Instead of playing with neighbors and making happy family memories, they are attending court hearings, adjusting to new foster homes and transitioning to new schools. That’s a heavy burden for a child to carry. With a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), America’s most vulnerable children will have someone speaking up for their best interests. With your support, more children will have the opportunity to thrive in a safe and loving home.
Our 10th Annual Fundraiser was a Great Success!
Yes, we had to hold it virtually this year, but we still had lots of fun with our event and hope you did too! The week of May 10-17 folks voted for their favorite past stars by making a donation, which in turn provides NWRM CASA with continued support to help at-risk children in the 14th Judicial District. We want to thank those who participated and made a donation to our cause, the past stars who helped get the word out, all the past years’ events’ choreographers, and especially our Presenting Sponsor, Yampa Valley Bank, and also the various other amazing sponsors! We were able to raise $40,000! Thank you to everyone for your generosity and support.
Welcome To Our Newest Board Members
We wanted to thank TJ Appenzeller for joining our Board in late January, representing Routt County. And also a big welcome to Karen Stillion, our newest Board member, who represents Moffat County. Although our Board meetings are still on Zoom video conferencing and not all of the Board have met these new Board members, they have already proven to be great additions. Please say congrats if you know either of these amazing CASA advocates personally!
Thank You to Our First 2021 Corporate Partner!
Our first Platinum Corporate Partner for 2021, The Simple Life, Brokered by eXp Realty, has awarded Northwest Rocky Mountain CASA a contribution of $10,000! Their generosity to our nonprofit is just another testimonial as to how Parnell Quinn and Megan Luther, Brokers and Managing Partners of The Simple Life Team, are incredible assets to our community.
Why Do People Support CASA?
To get others excited about supporting our nonprofit for last year’s Colorado Gives Day, we’d kicked off by having a little fun by asking our volunteers, board members, corporate sponsors, and past donors (everybody!) to share their reasons why they support CASA. You may also read them on our Facebook page. Please click the blue side arrows (forward/backward) to see the different stories.
I grew up in an unstable, chaotic environment; I often thought that if I had someone looking out for me, someone on my side, things would have been better for me. As an adult, I felt drawn to helping kids in similar circumstances but did not know how I could help until I ran across a CASA brochure. The timing was wrong for me to volunteer but I never forgot about CASA and its mission. Fast forward ten years and was reminded of CASA again and the timing was perfect; I signed up to volunteer after hearing an NPR story about human trafficking. The child I volunteer for is too young to know who I am, or what I do, but I do and it means the world to me that I can be there for him and his family.
– Jenny, Moffat County Volunteer
I have been supporting CASA for the last 2 years. I believe in what CASA stands for and what it does within each community. Every child deserves their voice to be heard.
– Shaylyn, CASA Board Member
I started volunteering for CASA and our Dancing With The Stars event 6 years ago. At first I thought helping with this big fundraising event would just be a fun way to give back. During the process I began to realize how incredibly important CASA is for children needing a voice. I am so proud to be a part of this organization and the amazing work they do. During the last 9 months I have had this phrase running through my head “Not Everyone Is Safer At Home”. CASA depends greatly on fundraising to continue the work they do with children. Please consider donating to this very crucial non-profit!
– Alie, DWTS Committee Member
It’s March 2012. I’m a young child welfare caseworker sitting in a black cushioned swivel chair with an attorney on my right, another one on my left, and two more attorneys on the other side of the court room, both with their clients present. Anxiously reviewing my notes and re-reading my court report, which determined the fitness of a young mother and father, I believed I completed everything I was supposed to, It was all done to the letter of the law and in accordance with my education and training. The judge enters the room. hears from all parties in the case, and I was overwhelmed with how sterile this tender situation of determining a child’s childhood was. I struggled with the idea of everyone in a room making a case, and a judge filtering all of it through assessments and legislation, for a child who was not even in the room. The nausea began as I felt the weight of my report’s inadequacy juxtaposed with a judge’s reliance on my professional opinion that all the while lacked what I really *felt*. Two seats down sat a woman who was noticeably quiet, clearly a part of the proceedings, but uniquely set apart as if almost for an entirely different motive. When the judge called on this “CASA” she stood. leaned into the mic, and what boomed forth was unfiltered. uncompromising voice of the child not bound by legalism or shackles. It was raw, it was unnervingly human, and it was as if a child entered the middle of an adult conversation to stop everyone on a dime with their unabashed truths. In this moment I found myself surprisingly jealous. because she had the ability as a volunteer advocate to truly bring the child’s voice to the table.
From this moment forward I supported CASA knowing they provide something for our most vulnerable population that no one else can provide, an unapologetic, no-strings-attached voice for the child.
– Alan Hallman, NWRM CASA’s Executive Director
I “danced” in CASA’s fundraiser, Dancing with the Stars, a few years ago. I was able to see the impact that CASA has on children and I fell in love with their mission. I became a committee member because I want to help ensure that funds are raised to support children during their most difficult time and to give them hope. Not all children are safer at home, so I hope you will join me in supporting CASA.
– Wendy Wade, The Steamboat Group corporate sponsor and CASA Committee Member
I was just recently selected for the CASA Board of Directors for Grand, Routt, and Moffat counties. I am very excited to serve on the board of directors of such a vitality important non-profit organization.
There is nothing more important than service to children in our communities, especially those that are facing very difficult family situations. CASA provides adult volunteer advocates to help these children in need navigate challenging circumstances. Nothing is more powerful than providing children with a one on one relationship with an adult role model that can give them the support and guidance that they so desperately need. I will support CASA as a volunteer board member, advocate for the organization, and I will also make a financial contribution to CASA so that the organization can continue to provide a very valuable service to the children in our community.
– Gigi Dominguez, Board of Directors
I joined CASA when it was just starting in Steamboat. I had been looking for a way to give back to children in our community. My son was away at college and I wanted to be able to share some of the knowledge I learned being a parent. I had noticed as he went through school that there were some kids who didn’t have strong advocates in their lives and they often either slid behind in their academics or were not able to take advantage of outside activities that would showcase their strengths. Our community has many resources and an excellent team of professionals who work together to support children in abuse and neglect cases. Everyone works toward the same goal to ensure the child is safe and supported; however, as a CASA I was a different part of the team, I was not a professional but simply a volunteer community member who only worked with one family at a time. These children have many people involved in their lives but the role of a CASA is to get to know them outside of these settings and to understand and advocate for their needs and preferences. The best part of being a CASA was seeing the children run out of school to greet you and tell you that they were looking forward to their visit all day. Being a CASA doesn’t require special skills, these kids enjoy knowing that we are there solely for them and it makes them feel valued and important. It was the highlight of my week to spend time with these children and to know that simply being a consistent adult who supported them unconditionally improved their trust in the environment around them.
– Phyllis, CASA Advocate, Past Board Member, and Dancing with the Stars volunteer
In 2010 I began working as a child welfare caseworker, around the same time NWRM CASA started providing Court Appointed Special Advocacy to children in the 14th Judicial District Dependency and Neglect Cases. As a caseworker, I always appreciated the work of CASA’s in the lives of the child. The CASA volunteers bring a unique perspective, humanity, and the child’s voice to the courtroom which can sometimes be lost. Throughout the years of working alongside CASA volunteers I was continually amazed by the way in which they could get to know the children and ensure their voices were heard and their best interests served. In 2019 I was fortunate to join the CASA team as the Routt County Program Coordinator. In the last year I have seen volunteers go above and beyond in their tireless work for children and am beyond grateful for their dedication and desire to help change a child’s story. Our volunteers come from all walks of life; some employed, some retired, some with children, some without, most have no experience in the child welfare field. but they all share a desire to advocate for the most vulnerable and voiceless members of our community; children who have experienced abuse or neglect. I invite you to speak up for these children we serve, either through a financial gift, or through a gift of your time as a volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate.
– Lauren, Routt County Program Coordinator
I recently completed my training to become a CASA and have started my first assignment. After searching for the right volunteer opportunity in my retirement, I landed on CASA because I was so inspired by the opportunity to really make a difference in a kid’s life. I learned from other CASA experiences that it is possible to truly change the course of an individual’s life – from one of neglect and abuse to one of love and fulfillment. It is truly a gift for me to spend some of my time this way – it brings me happiness and I feel like my work is truly creating a little more joy in my kid’s life.
-Anne Warhover, Routt County Volunteer
Being a life-long educator and a parent of four, my life has been defined by children. Children are God’s greatest blessing. I have loved, nurtured, taught, nursed, counseled and encouraged hundreds of children over the years and nothing gives me a greater sense of fulfillment or joy. When I retired from my profession and found my children grown and gone, I also found an emptiness in my life. CASA has replaced that emptiness giving me the gift of working with children again. Volunteering with CASA affords me the chance to do the things I’ve found most meaningful in my life with children who are in desperate need. CASA offers support to children that no other agency can provide – full time advocacy for voices that might otherwise go unheard.
– Shelly, Grand and Routt County Volunteer
I give to NWRM CASA because I know that my financial support provides kids in our communities with the support they need during some of the hardest times of their life. Our staff, volunteers, and facilities are essential to maintaining safety, stability, and hope for the future for all kids in our community. I give to NWRM CASA and I hope you will too!
– Madeline, our new CASA Board Vice President
I have been a supporter of NWRM CASA for the last 8 years because I believe strongly in the mission to help children in our communities. Children are the future and anything that helps them become stronger is a worthy cause to me.
– Nicole, CASA Board President
I became a CASA to give children the voice they may not otherwise have in a system that mostly overlooks them. I want the kids I work with to know there is at least one person who cares about them just because, no strings attached. And giving a voice to my kids has made sure they are living in safe, happy, loving homes.
– Melissa, Moffat County Volunteer
CASA Volunteer's Story
I became interested in becoming a CASA volunteer after hearing about the program from a friend who was a volunteer. I retired from teaching and as a Christian, I prayed for guidance and whether I should volunteer. Things fell into place and I felt it was God sending me to CASA. I have only worked with two cases and I don’t always feel I am making a difference with the children, but I do think my voice being heard about things in the cases is one that would not be heard if I was not a volunteer and there have been decisions regarding the care of the children that I initiated. So even if the children don’t realize what I have done, I know I have made a difference in their lives. I have learned much about the court system and it is difficult to understand the decisions made at times, but I truly feel CASA volunteers are making a difference in many lives.
– Moffat County CASA Volunteer
I became a CASA Volunteer years ago because I was a legal secretary at the time and there was a letter in a domestic legal matter where a child had written, mommy & daddy, please don’t fight over me. I asked the attorney I worked for if he knew what a Guardian Ad Litem was because the Court appointed the little boy a Guardian Ad Litem. I learned it was the position we call a CASA Volunteer today.
I was a GAL for several years and all of my cases were sexually abused little girls. As their CASA Volunteer, I was able to place these fragile, broken vessels into loving homes and found relatives they didn’t even know they had. I stopped being a GAL when I started my own family. But I always prayed, “Dear God, let my little girls be okay. I pray they have grown up to be “OK Women – wherever they are today.”
Fast forward over 30 years and I learned GALs were now called CASA Volunteers and I volunteered again in the Moffat County office. After about 3 months the Volunteer Coordinator position became available and I applied. I have worked on several cases in the year+ I have been here. I am blessed to oversee some wonderful volunteers. I know I am exactly where God wants me to be and these volunteers are doing amazing work for children. I am thankful for them and thankful for our wonderful organization, Court Appointed Special Advocates.
– Jill, Moffat County Volunteer Supervisor
How We Are Making An Impact During COVID-19
Our Rocky Mountain Visitation Centers in each county are open for both in-person supervised visitations, as well as virtually. We know just how critical these visits are to the well being of the children and their families and we do not want cost to be a barrier. For that reason, we are happy to offer these supervised visitation services FREE OF CHARGE during the COVID-19 crisis.
Click here to read more about how our staff and volunteers are making a difference in our News
A Volunteer Is Priceless…
CASA Volunteers are EVERYDAY people who care about children!
- Volunteers for CASA come from all walks of life and backgrounds: many work full-time, some are retired, some are stay-at-home moms, and others are students or work part-time.
- A CASA volunteer is a trained and appointed by a judge to speak for the best interests of an abused and/or neglected child.
- CASA volunteers help assure the child’s emotional, physical, educational, spiritual, social and mental health needs are being met.
- There are over 900 CASA programs around the County. Find out more about the CASA movement and the stories of how CASA helped over 274,000 children last year by visiting the National CASA website.
For children to have safety, stability, and hope for the future.
To inspire, empower, and educate the community and volunteers to advocate for the best interests of the child.