All About CASA of Oklahoma County - MetroFamily Magazine
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All About CASA of Oklahoma County

by Rebecca Lucas

Reading Time: 3 minutes 

Name of Organization: CASA of Oklahoma County, Inc.
5905 N. Classen Court, Suite 302,
Oklahoma City, OK 73118
Phone: (405) 713-6456 or (405) 713-6607
www.okcountycasa.org

Alex Corbitt is the Volunteer Recruiter/Training Facilitator for CASA. He joined CASA as a case manager in 1998. After one year of service, he took on a second title as Volunteer Recruiter. A year later, he became full-time as Volunteer Recruiter.  Prior to CASA, Corbitt was a child welfare specialist and the director of a therapeutic work program for three years.  He earned a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Oral Roberts University and a Master’s in Rehabilitation Counseling from Oklahoma State University. Alex and his wife Donna have been foster parents since 1999. They currently have one foster son. They have three biological adult sons, three granddaughters and three grandsons. 

Describe the mission of your non-profit:

To advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children striving to help them find a safe and permanent home as quickly as possible. 

How does it impact families and children, whether locally or elsewhere?

CASA volunteers serve as “the eyes and ears of the court.” As an officer of the court, the CASA becomes very knowledgeable about the family, interviewing anyone who knows anything about the family, working collaboratively with the Child Welfare Specialists, examining all pertinent records, attending all case-related meetings (including court hearings) and submitting fact-based reports with fair and objective recommendations to the court.  Nationally, it has been shown that cases are resolved more quickly when a CASA is involved, children receive more services, and children spend less time in foster care.

What drives you to make this non-profit a success?

The knowledge that we are currently only serving 30% of the children in the system and a belief that the other 70% are not getting all of the services that they need and deserve.

What success stories or accomplishments has this non-profit achieved?

CASA of Oklahoma County, Inc., has been recognized by National CASA as one of the top urban programs in the United States. Vina Showers of Oklahoma City was honored as the National CASA Volunteer of the Year in 1998.

How can families and children help this non-profit?

Like many non-profits, we are in need of funding to continue our goal of expanding to where we can represent more children.  By National CASA standards, a case manager cannot supervise more than 30 CASA volunteers at one time.  Thus, as we recruit more volunteers, we will need adequate funding so we can hire more case managers and stay in compliance with the 30 to 1 ratio.

Because we are finding that so many people have never even heard of CASA, we need help in getting the word out in the community.  Therefore, we are calling on folks to use e-mail, Facebook, blogging, personal contacts and any other mode to help us educate folks concerning the CASA mission.

What led you to work for this nonprofit?

As a Child Welfare Specialist from 1992 to 1998, I met some CASA volunteers and became aware of the highly effective work that they do advocating for the best interests of abused and neglected children.  When it finally dawned on me that the work load I was laboring under was affecting my health, I chose to give 2-months notice of my resignation from the Department of Human Services.  A couple of weeks after submitting my resignation, I learned of a job opening with CASA and I submitted my application.  As we like to say: “The rest is history!” 

What was your best day so far?

We had 35 people finish training last month, which eclipsed the old record of 30.  While numbers don’t tell the whole story, it is important that we put up even bigger numbers going forward if we are to realize our goal of having a CASA volunteer for every child involved in the system.

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