If you read the paper or watch the news, you already know the magnitude of the opioid epidemic in this country.

While lawmakers, public officials, and the media focus on the public health crisis, we focus on the silent victims – the children.

Of course, parental substance abuse isn’t new, and we have always advocated for the best interests of children who have experienced abuse or neglect as a result of a parent’s addiction.

But over the last five years, the number of children in foster care across the country has risen 8 percent, which public officials increasingly attribute to the growing use of opioids. Sadly, we expect this number to continue to climb. Which means our role—and yours—has never been more important.

We have more than 20 volunteers fighting every day to help more than 55 children get the support and services they need. And that’s just the start. We are raising awareness about this issue and actively working to grow our volunteer base to be there for these children.

It takes a movement of committed individuals to speak up for these children. You are an important part of the CASA movement. Please inquire how you can become a Voice for a Child. In doing so, you will help give a child the support of a dedicated, highly-trained volunteer who will make sure they don’t get lost in the system and have what they need to heal and thrive.

Having a CASA volunteer to put a child’s best interests before all others can make all the difference.

Together, we can help child victims of the opioid crisis.

Thank you.

Kiersta Sullivan, Executive Director

National Child Abuse Prevention Month

National Child Abuse Prevention Month

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Studies have shown that a single nurturing relationship with an adult can profoundly impact a child who has endured abuse or neglect. Front Range Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers play a crucial role by connecting children with healing resources and equipping them with tools to prevent further harm. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, over 3 million cases of child maltreatment are reported each year, with 558,899 substantiated in 2022. Child abuse and neglect are common. At least 1 in 7 children have experienced child abuse or neglect in the past year in the United States. This is likely an underestimate because many cases are unreported. In 2020, 1,750 children died of abuse and neglect in the United States. Child abuse and neglect are preventable. Prevention includes the availability of and access to resources. Front Range CASA volunteers identify resources for children and their families to help strengthen families and prevent crises before they occur. 

National Child Abuse Prevention Month

We know all families have challenges and struggles at times. Child abuse prevention starts with awareness and support for families. CASA volunteers not only help prevent child abuse; they also help children and families thrive.
Front Range CASA provides highly trained volunteers to advocate for the “best interest” of children in the court system in Glacier, Pondera, Teton, and Toole Counties. Training is provided and volunteers are needed.
Find out how you can become a CASA volunteer with Front Range CASA/GAL, Inc. To learn more about the organization and how to become a volunteer, contact Executive Director Kiersta Sullivan at 406-576-7041 or [email protected]

If not you-who?
If not now-when?

Volunteer or donate today.

For more information about becoming a supporter or to volunteer, visit our volunteer page

What is a CASA?

Each year in Montana, children are removed from their families and placed in some form of foster care. These children have committed no crime, but are simply victims – children who have been abused, neglected or abandoned. The judge must consider: Did the conditions at home warrant removal? Is the home now “safe” so the child may be returned? Or, should that child be permanently placed in another home?

In the past, Judges often had to base these decisions on incomplete information. Overburdened child welfare workers and attorneys rarely have the time or resources to thoroughly monitor court orders, or to find out first-hand what is really best for each individual child. As reports of abuse and neglect keep crowding court dockets, more and more children have become “lost” in the confusing maze of the foster care system.

Today, 50,000 advocates speak up for these children as Court Appointed Special Advocates or CASA volunteers. CASA’s are ordinary community members who are trained to speak for the best interest of abused children in the family court system.

What is a CASA?

CASA volunteers are asked to commit to one year of service and must be able to volunteer at least 8 to 15 hours per month. CASA’s are appointed by the Executive Director to a particular case, serving as the eyes and ears of the judge, gathering relevant information about the child and the family. They then make recommendations regarding the best interest of the child. Front Range CASA/GAL, Inc covers four counties, Glacier, Pondera, Teton and Toole.

In order to become a CASA, you must be 21 years of age, pass background checks and complete the mandatory training. Training is provided in the CASA volunteer role, understanding families and children, communicating as a CASA, information gathering, legal terminology, courtroom procedure, and system protocol.

If you are interested in becoming a CASA, or know someone who might be interested, please contact Kiersta Sullivan for more information

Every Child Has a Chance