LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Sarah Faith was born addicted to cocaine and spent the first 10 days of her life going through withdrawals. Her story is highlighted in a Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASA, video online. It tells how her mother’s rights were terminated when Sarah was around 15 years old.
“She didn’t want a baby. She wanted to do her drugs and she would want me when I was cute and quiet, which babies are not cute and quiet all the time,” Sarah explained. “We get hungry. We need diaper changes. And she didn’t understand that. She didn’t know how to be a mother and she didn’t want to learn.”
Sarah’s story is similar to about 550 kids in Pulaski County who are currently in the foster care system. About 300 have a Court Appointed Special Advocate, but 250 don’t. The mission of Pulaski & Perry Counties CASA is to give abused and neglected children a voice in court.
“We train those individuals to go to court with the children, to track their cases, to report to the court and to the judges what’s happening in their case,” CASA Executive Director Darryl Capps said.
Each CASA is a volunteer, like Xanthoula Groom.
“There are a lot of emotions that come with doing this job, being in this volunteer position. There’s a lot of sadness that come with this volunteer position. There’s a lot of joy that comes with this volunteer position,” Groom said.
Child abuse cases are increasing in Pulaski County. Despite the pandemic, CASA is continuing to work hard to achieve its mission. That’s why Rainwater, Holt and Sexton is honoring CASA for being a difference maker by donating $1000.
“We’re especially grateful to them at this time. Especially with the pandemic, it was a huge blessing, so we were very honored to receive this award,” Capps said.
CASA said the money will help train more volunteers and ultimately help more children in the system.