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Letters to the Editor: A pastor’s farewell; CASA volunteers reunify children with families

Letters to the Editor: A pastor’s farewell; CASA volunteers reunify children with families

A pastor’s farewell

Dear Editor:

I have had the honor to serve as pastor to the United Methodist Churches in Lindsay and Exeter for the past four years. This July, I will be reappointed to serve in Amador County. As I say goodbye, I want to say thank you to these two wonderful communities. I have been blessed to meet so many hard-working, caring people both in and outside of the church. 

I have been especially fond of working with and getting to know other ministers around town. Cross denominational cooperation is an example of ways that people can work together and be friends despite their differences. With thanksgiving I will look back on those of you who helped me to become acquainted with the community.

These two towns and the people in the churches I served have made a bigger impact on me than I could have ever imagined. It was a wonderful place to begin my journey into pastoral ministry. I will miss you all. May God bless you, and may you always be a blessing to others.

Mark Smith
United Methodist Church in Exeter

CASA volunteers reunify children with families

Dear Editor:

June is National Reunification Month. Most families that have their children removed due to abuse or neglect are offered services such as parenting classes, therapy, or treatment for substance use disorder so that ultimately the children may be returned to them, or reunified. If the family successfully addresses the problems that caused the children to be removed, the children can return home. 

Parents do not do this by themselves. Foster parents, attorneys, social workers, therapists, and judges overseeing the case all guide the family in doing what they need to do to reunify. Studies show that children who live with family have much better outcomes than children raised in foster care. For this reason, we at CASA of Tulare County hope that all children can safely be returned to their families. 

One support that can help families reunify is a CASA or Court Appointed Special Advocate. These highly trained volunteers are assigned to one child or sibling group in foster care, and stay with the child or children until the case is resolved. CASAs are appointed by the judge and report to the judge on the best interests of the child. They monitor and report on progress made by the family, and the needs and wishes of the child or children they serve. 

Here in Tulare County, we have over 200 children waiting for a CASA to support them and help them either safely reunify, or find a safe, permanent home. Our CASAs report that serving in this capacity is an extraordinary opportunity and enriches their lives as well as their assigned children. To make a lasting difference in the life of a child as a CASA volunteer, please contact us at 559-625-4007. Sincerely,

Paul Moore, M.A.
Executive Director
CASA of Tulare County

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