CASA Volunteer Elaine Johnson and CASA Supervisor Phil Lartigue appeared together on WUSA’s “Great Day Washington,” where they made a powerful pitch for our efforts to help foster children.

Elaine and Phil explained that we recruit, train and supervise volunteers to serve as court-appointed special advocates for foster children, and that we need a lot more volunteers for the sake of hundreds of at-risk kids in Prince George’s County.

“I’ve been a volunteer for two years,” Elaine began, explaining that she was a foster child herself, beginning at age three, when she was picked up while wandering alone on the street.

“It was trauma after trauma, (foster) home after (foster) home,” Elaine said of her life in foster care that ended when she aged out at 18 and was fortunate enough to go onto college.

“It would have been nice to have a CASA, someone like me, to represent my best interests,” Elaine said. “That is one reason why I felt compelled to speak out and represent a young person,” a foster teenager who is a single mom.

Phil told viewers, “If you want to make a change in a young person’s life, please come check out our information session,” set for 6 p.m. on June 15 at our headquarters at 6811 Kenilworth Ave., Riverdale, Md.

“It’s amazing what our volunteers do,” Phil said.

With studies showing that foster children do far better in school and in life with a CASA volunteer, we now have 180 CASA volunteers for the more than 450 foster children in Prince George’s County. Our goal is to have a CASA for every child in the next 5 years.

“We are definitely looking for members of the community to serve,” Phil said.

Check out the clip here.