Tragedies abound in Carson City … here’s how you can help |

Tragedies abound in Carson City … here’s how you can help

Chris Bayer

We read about earthquakes, tornadoes and floods. Nature seems to ensure that there will be tragedy. But what about the tragedies close at hand? What about the tragedies created by people in our own town? Are we aware?

In the newspaper, we read about parents arrested for abusing or neglecting their children. Then the story seems to be over. Due to confidentiality, we don’t read about the long process that often ensues for children. Months and sometimes years may go by as social workers, CASA volunteers, therapists, attorneys, judges, foster parents and others work hard to help children find a safe permanent home. In this, the community has the opportunity to look the other way or to help out.

How can people help? There are two good routes for the average citizen to play an active role ” as a CASA volunteer or as an adoptive/foster parent. Both of these make a big difference for children. Both take patience, time, caring and effort. CASA volunteers are appointed as guardian ad litem under Nevada law and advocate for the child. Foster parents help ensure that while the child may not be living with their parents the child can remain in their school and near their friends. Carson City needs foster homes. We must stop sending our children far from their community, school and friends because we do not have enough foster homes. Can you help get out the word about these needs?

Most of the time, parents make significant changes and the children return home. Other times, children go to adoption, guardianship with a relative or age out of the child welfare system at age 18. All of these outcomes can be positive. People can heal from tragedy. Children can recover from abuse and neglect. How children are cared for during this sorting out process is very important.

To become a CASA volunteer, see our Web site at or, if you are already interested, come to our first training June 25, 6 to 9 pm at the Juvenile Court ” 1545 E. 5th St. or call 882-6776. To find out more about becoming a foster or adoptive parent contact Mary Lee Mockford at the Division Of Child and Family Services, 687-4943, ext. 262.

Chris Bayer is director of CASA of Carson City