We all know that comforting feeling when we are being physically embraced – feeling heard, emotionally understood, and supported by another human being. That warm feeling of human connection is so important in maintaining our overall emotional and physical health. In fact, dozens of studies have shown that people who have satisfying relationships are happier, have fewer health problems, and live longer. Conversely, a relative lack of social ties is associated with depression and later-life cognitive decline, as well as with increased mortality. As Family Advocates recruits more volunteers for our Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) and Family Strengthening Programs we place a lot of importance on human connection.
Last year, 39% of our new Guardian ad Litem volunteers for the CASA program came from referrals from friends, family members, current staff and Board of Directors, community partners, and a variety of other connections. This is a number we are honored to share because it means that our team is honoring social connections within the communities we serve. It also means that these same people feel confident in the services we are providing and feel a sense of belonging to either our overall mission or to the children and families we serve.
It has been written and spoken by many that “we may think we want money, power, fame, beauty, eternal youth, or a new car, but at the root of most of these desires is a need to belong, to be accepted, and to connect with others…” Family Advocates and its volunteers work on the forefront of building positive relationships and understand that the better equipped someone is to form and maintain positive relationships, the better others will be able to face life’s challenges.
Resilience, the ability to bounce back after stressful situations, is strengthened when you give and receive support. Is a common thread that runs between all the programs at Family Advocates. Whether it is a Guardian ad Litem volunteer working with a child who has experienced abuse, neglect, or abandonment in an active Child Protection case or a family who is involved in Family Strengthening classes. We know that the connections that are being made will change both the person giving the services and those receiving.
If you know someone who you feel has the heart, strength, and compassion to speak up for children and families let us know! Here are all the ways you too can become a volunteer or help us recruit new volunteers:
- Attend a Volunteer Information Hour. Upcoming sessions can be found here: https://familyadvocates.org/events/
- Complete our Get Involved Form: https://familyadvocates.org/get-involved/ by providing us your contact information we can connect with you to determine your level of involvement.
- Nominate a GAL. If you know someone that would be a great CASA volunteer, you can nominate them by emailing the CASA Program Director -firstname.lastname@example.org You provide us with the persons name and contact information and we will reach out to recruit them. We will also let them know you think highly of them and think they’d be a great fit.
- Share our posts on social media.
- If you are currently a volunteer – share your experiences on social media, in accordance with our confidentiality policies, and tag us.
- Invite us to present to any of the groups to which you belong. We love to meet new people and brag about what we do. You can use this form to connect with us: https://familyadvocates.org/get-involved/
You may have heard the African proverb – “It takes a village to raise a child,” meaning an entire community of people must interact with children for those children to experience and grow in a safe and healthy environment. Family Advocates believes in this proverb and believes that it also translates to volunteer recruitment. It takes a village of people to serve children and families. More volunteers mean more children served. More volunteers mean more prevention resources are given. We need more people to continue to serve the children and families in Idaho and we hope that you will want to join our village.