Thoughtful Parenting: A CASA volunteer can make a big difference in a child’s life

Thoughtful Parenting: A CASA volunteer can make a big difference in a child’s life

Everyone has a calling — whether it is a job you’re passionate about, a hobby, charity work, volunteering or an aptitude to lead others.

No matter what it is, it is something that is meaningful and fulfilling. If your calling is helping children, then becoming a foster parent or Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer may be for you.

Since the start of the pandemic, there has been a national shortage of foster families and CASA volunteers. Like many counties across Colorado, Routt County was not spared from the shortage and is in need of foster families who are passionate and dedicated to care for children who have experienced abuse and neglect.

Foster parents provide a safe, temporary home for children and youth whose parents or caregivers cannot safely care for them and when no other relative and kin supports are available to provide care.

Children remain in the care of foster families while their parent, parents or caregiver works to remedy the safety concerns so the children can return home. If you feel this might be your calling and want to learn more on how you can make a difference, please contact Paunita Muset, Routt County DHS,

If fostering is not your calling, but you still want to support children in our community, becoming a CASA volunteer may be more fitting. CASA’s are trained volunteers that advocate for children and youth who have been abused and/or neglected, assisting the judge in making the most informed decision based on the child’s best interest.

One CASA volunteer — one consistent adult — dedicated to a child’s well-being can make a big difference by reducing the amount of time a child may spend in foster care, ensuring the child and the family have access to vital resources, and helping strengthen and reunify families whenever possible. To learn more about CASA please contact Lauren Rising, Northwest Rocky Mountain CASA,

If you’re interested in learning more about becoming a foster parent or CASA volunteer, please join at 5 p.m. Friday, May 20, at the Community Center, 1605 Lincoln Ave. You will learn more about the process and requirements of becoming a foster parent or CASA volunteer.

You will also hear from experienced foster parents and CASA volunteers. Please contact Lauren or Paunita to RVSP or register online at

Paunita Muset is a social caseworker for the Department of Human Services.