Springdale, AR – CASA of Northwest Arkansas is honored to recognize Susan Duke as a dedicated CASA volunteer advocate for the past ten years. Susan is a well respected member of our community and is instrumental in increasing awareness of CASA in our area. She plays a major role in recruiting volunteers and securing donations for our annual Christmas for a Child party for children in foster care. As a former foster parent herself, Susan understands how the system works and the vitality of CASA’s mission.
Susan has served a number of foster children in Benton County, but one case that truly stands out is one to which she has been assigned since November 2001. Throughout this nine year case, Susan has played a vital role in the development of the child. Through regular visits and uncovering lost family members, Susan has created a close relationship and will forever be seen as a role model in this foster child’s eyes.
When asked, “Why be a CASA?” Susan responds, “When a child is not receiving the care and security they need and deserve, a CASA stands in the gap and advocates for that child and their needs. It is a privilege to act on behalf of a child!”
Crystal Vickmark, Executive Director, describes Susan’s involvement by saying, “Susan has played an instrumental role in the growth of our program over the last ten years. She is a passionate advocate for children and has recruited several new volunteers who have mirrored her passion as well. What I find amazing is that Susan has remained the advocate for one of her CASA children for nearly nine years. The goal of our program is to advocate for a child until they are placed in a safe, permanent home. Since Susan’s CASA child is still in foster care, Susan remains her advocate. When the system and her family failed this child, Susan remains.”
CASA of NWA, Inc. is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization located in Springdale and is committed to recruiting and maintaining diverse volunteers, staff, and board of directors. CASA volunteers are trained, court-appointed special advocates whose sole responsibility is to make contact with everyone involved in the child’s life and gather the facts. The advocate reports the facts to the judge and recommend what they believe to be in the best interests of the child. In most cases the CASA is the bridge between all parties, and they become a constant presence in a child’s life; a child who may have been introduced to multiple case workers and foster homes. For more information please contact CASA of NWA, Inc. at 479-725-2213 or online at www.nwacasa.org