LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Out of 93,000 CASA volunteers nationwide, Las Vegas native Carolyn Muscari was honored with the National CASA/GAL Association’s 2022 G.F. Bettineski Child Advocate of the Year Award. CASAs are court-appointed special advocates.
"I didn't do it for the recognition," Muscari said. "I always believed that the only most important thing in the world is people, and children are the most vulnerable people."
The CASA program, which is part of the Family Division of the Eighth Judicial District Court, recruits, screens, trains and supports volunteers to represent the best interests of foster children in Clark County. The advocates represent the children in school, in child and family team meetings, and in court.
Muscari, who is a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, has been a volunteer for 40 years when the program began impacting communities across the U.S.
"I had a few things in my neighborhood that went on and just kind of made me wonder if these kids were going to turn out OK," Muscari recalls. "I heard about CASA on the radio, and I decided to look into it."
Over the past four decades, Muscari has improved the well-being of hundreds of children in the child welfare system by helping them reach permanent homes through her tireless “best-interest” advocacy on their behalf. She said that she hopes her service will inspire others.
In Clark County, there are more than 3,000 children who need a CASA. The program continuously trains volunteers. For more information about the CASA program call 702-455-CASA, or visit www.casalasvegas.org.