News & Media: Voices Raising Voices




Voices Raising Voices

In Spring 2016, Georgia CASA launched a project, Voices Raising Voices, for CASA volunteers in the state to share their volunteer stories to help recruit a new wave of CASA volunteers so that even more children can have a voice for their best interests in court. We know that every day, CASA volunteers in Georgia raise their voices in court to tell a child's story and to help a judge set the best possible course for a child's future. By raising more volunteer voices through Voices Raising Voices, we can all help ensure that more and more children across Georgia benefit from a CASA volunteer by their sides.Larry Sheber

Meet Larry & Read His Story

*CASA volunteer since 2012
*Has worked with 7 children
*Past president of the local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity
*Has a masters degree in sociology
*Retired for the past 5 1/2 years, after being a self-employed dentist for 36 years
*Has 9 grandchildren that live nearby that he visits regularly
"I found my place of profound impact and fulfilling service in the CASA program!"

Lawrence (Larry) Sheber loves to serve. He has served as a board member and volunteer for a number of local organizations near his home in Fannin County. Even so, he still longed for a volunteer opportunity where he could more directly and profoundly impact lives for the better. In the midst of his search, Larry heard a presentation by a recruiter for CASA of the Appalachian Judicial Circuit. He decided to take a closer look, joined a training class and was sworn in as a CASA volunteer in 2012.
Larry was soon assigned to serve ‘Bobby,’ a teen child of divorced parents. Bobby had spent the first years after the divorce happily with his dad, but as a young teen, he asked a judge to move him into his mother’s custody. This new arrangement worked well for a while, but Bobby’s mom was into drugs and unable to hold down a steady job. Due to his mom’s lack of stability, which had also led to a loss of contact with his father, Bobby was placed in foster care.
Due to DFCS staff turnover, Bobby had three case managers during just a few months in foster care. At some point, one of the case managers made a notation that Bobby’s dad was in prison. No confirmation was completed, but subsequent case managers read the notation as fact and spent no time seeking him.
Thankfully, Larry took seriously his job as independent investigator. Armed with his CASA order providing access to all sorts of records, he soon learned that Bobby’s dad was not in prison. With a little more legwork, he located Bobby’s dad, who had in fact been trying to contact DFCS for several months in hopes of reuniting with his son.
During his eight months in foster care, Bobby had three different case managers and six different foster homes. The frequent moves caused him to miss so much school that he fell two semesters behind on the track to graduation.
Without his CASA Larry, Bobby might still be bouncing from foster home to foster home, school to school. Thanks to his CASA, he is home with his dad, achieving straight A’s in a private school, and on track to high school graduation and future success.
Friends and family often say to Larry how they could never work with neglected and abused children. It’s too depressing.
His response: “What would be depressing is if there weren’t CASAs to help advocate for children who are neglected and abused, not only by their parents but often by a system that is understaffed...and overworked.”
In CASA, Larry Sheber has found his place of profound impact and fulfilling service. His passion for service will no doubt help many more children like ‘Bobby’ find their way home.

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Ready to Volunteer?

Abused and neglected children all over Georgia are in need of more CASA volunteers to raise their voices and speak for their best interests. If you are ready to explore the CASA volunteer opportunity, please complete the Volunteer Inquiry Form and get connected to a CASA program in your community today!