Akshay Anand, Karats CEO, Discusses Volunteering for CASA
Akshay Anand, Karats CEO, discusses volunteering for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) and the roles that CASA volunteers have to serve.
Akshay Anand, Karats CEO, discusses volunteering for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) and the roles that CASA volunteers have to serve. Akshay’s business ‘Karats’ is a premier jewelry and watch retailer in Kansas City. As a successful business owner, Akshay commits himself to serving the community and frequently participates in philanthropic activities.
CASA is an organization whose mission is to empower neglected and abused children with a volunteer’s voice in court by finding a safe and permanent home for every child. It was founded in 1977, after Seattle Superior Court Judge David Soukup conceived the idea of appointing volunteers to voice out the best interests of these children in court. 50 citizens responded after he made a request for volunteers, and this became the start of the CASA movement.
In 1985, Johnson County CASA became a project of the Tenth Judicial District of Kansas and the National Council of Jewish Women. The project’s purpose was to alleviate the overloaded court system by advocating for neglected or abused children in court. The organization started recruiting and training community volunteers to serve the best interests of these children, and this legacy continues in the present.
CASA volunteers serve an important role by monitoring the children’s situation and reporting findings to the court. Every year, CASA volunteers within Wyandotte and Johnson Counties dedicate over 15,000 hours to these children, with each hour focused on the goal of giving every child a chance at happiness as well as the stability that all children need in order to thrive.
CASA volunteers are all specially-trained citizens who have received 30 hours of official training before they are assigned a case. The training program’s curriculum combines in-person and online delivery of information. The training covers five sessions, and each session has about 3 hours of self-guided work that must be completed online before the volunteer attends a 3-hour in-person classroom session. Volunteers are educated on a variety of topics, such as an overview of courtroom procedure from judges, attorneys and social workers, symptoms and effects of neglect and abuse, early childhood development, and cultural diversity.
A CASA volunteer’s main responsibility is to meet with the child or a sibling group regularly to develop a relationship with the child and determine his or her needs. Volunteers also need to meet with other people who have information about the child, such as parents, foster parents, counselors, social workers, and teachers. They need to review all records pertaining to the child, and submit a written report to the judge before each court hearing that has information about the child—helping the judge make a better, more informed decision about the child’s future.
Believing that these children deserve a bright future, Akshay is encouraging citizens to volunteer for CASA and help neglected or abused children find happiness. To learn more about Akshay, visit http://akshayandyanand.tumblr.com/
About Akshay Anand
Akshay Anand of Karats is a successful business owner. Karats is a premier jewelry and watch retailer in Kansas City and is a 6th generation family business that Akshay inherited from his family. He brings an extensive experience in jewelry buying as well as diamond grading to the business, and has forged various successful partnerships with other businesses using his comprehensive understanding of market factors in the jewelry industry.
Address: 8651 West 135th Street, Overland Park, Kansas 66223, United States
Phone: (913) 239-0735