CASA – Advocating for Foster Youth Seeking Adoption

Based in Artesia, New Mexico, Rance Miles guides Quality Milk Sales as chief financial officer and chief operating officer. Active in his community, he supports a number of nonprofit organizations that seek to provide youth alternatives to drugs and gangs. Rance Miles is also involved with Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), which advocates for neglected foster children as they await placement with families.

CASA’s volunteer advocates provide judges with details necessary to ensure that the rights of each child are respected while they are in foster care. Children who are paired with CASA volunteers are significantly more likely to find an adoptive family and half as likely to reenter the foster care system.

One of CASA’s success stories featured on its website is that of Dashun Jackson, who endured years of abuse from his mother and her boyfriend, and from age 13 alternated between an aunt’s house and a children’s emergency shelter. A CASA volunteer changed all this by giving Dashun the knowledge and confidence to speak up for himself and communicate his needs. He was successfully placed in a foster home and ultimately decided to give back by working as program manager with an organization that mentors youth.

Court Appointed Special Advocates Annual Conference

As the chief operating and financial officer of Select Milk Producers, Inc., based in Artesia, New Mexico, Rance Miles oversees the company’s annual milk sales of more than $900 million. With more than three decades of experience in the agricultural field, he also serves as general manager of several other dairy companies, including Continental Dairy Products, Inc., and Southwest Cheese. Rance Miles spends his downtime supporting several charitable endeavors, one of which includes the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for Children.

Established in 1977 in Seattle, Washington, CASA is a group that advocates for children awaiting placement into foster homes. Since its inception, the group has grown to include more than 950 CASA and guardian ad litem programs in 49 states and the District of Columbia. In 2012, the organization provided more than 75,000 CASA and guardian ad litem (GAL) volunteers who helped 238,000 abused and neglected children secure permanent, safe homes.

Held annually, the National CASA Conference brings together CASA and GAL staff, volunteers, and board members to connect with others and become inspired to continue making a difference. Those who attend the 2015 event, scheduled for May 30 through June 2 in New Orleans, Louisiana, can partake in workshops and listen to renowned speakers. At the conference, CASA presents its Awards of Excellence to honor outstanding child advocates, board members, volunteers, and program directors.

CASA Volunteers

New Mexico resident Rance Miles is an operations and financial executive serving a group of companies in the dairy industry. In his spare time, Rance Miles participates in various community organizations, including CASA.

Also known as Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children, CASA is a nationwide program that works with abused and neglected children within the court system to ensure their well-being until they are placed in safe and permanent homes. The organization relies heavily on volunteers to support its initiative. In 2013 alone, 238,000 children nationwide received care and assistance from some 75,000 court-appointed CASA and guardian ad litem (GAL) volunteers.

CASA volunteers are comprised of caring individuals who wish to help children in need. Experience in law or social work is not required to become a volunteer. Each person contributing to the cause receives training and support from the organization before and throughout their service. A background check, commitment to serve for the duration of a case, and 30 hours of pre-service training are mandatory for all volunteers.

To learn more about CASA volunteer opportunities, visit http://www.casaforchildren.org.