From taking care of cows to just about everything else in between, Rahkel Hansen had to get used to the farm when she married her husband 25 years ago.
"I did not grow up on a farm, I grew up in town," said Hansen. "So this was a change for me when I came out here."
But after her kids got older, she wanted another challenge.
She studied criminal justice in college, so she decided to volunteer to be a Court Appointed Special Advocate for Children.
"I check in with the kids, I do visits with the children, I do visits with parents," said Hansen, describing her duties as a CASA volunteer. "I keep in contact with all care givers."
The CASA program trains volunteers to be advocates for needy children in the child welfare system.
Those volunteers give input to judges and social workers.
"You're kind of the one person that's with them throughout the whole, you know," said Hansen, describing situations in which volunteers work with foster children. "Sometimes that transition can be really difficult for those kids and (it's beneficial) having that one adult that's kind of consistent and there for them."
There are 450 CASA Volunteers in Iowa right now, but 900 children are in need.
Rahkel's worked with three families over the last five years she's been volunteering, and through it all, she feels like she's made a difference with all of those children and families.
"They just needed somebody, they were young they just needed kind of somebody to just step in and help work through their issues," said Hansen. "They want to be good parents, they just need a little extra."
If you want to learn more about the CASA program, or volunteer yourself, please check out this web site: http://www.casaforchildren.org/site/c.mtJSJ7MPIsE/b.5301295/k.BE9A/Home.htm
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