On Feb. 12, 2016 the Hon. Lisa Jones swore in five candidates as CASA Volunteers—Court-Appointed Special Advocates for abused and neglected children.
Family, friends, CASA Board Members and staff gathered in the Holbrook Judicial Center to watch the volunteers take an oath promising to advocate for the best interest of the child.
The newly appointed CASA volunteers join 16 other dedicated community members who have been trained to advocate for children in the county’s juvenile dependency court system. As officers of the court, they ensure that the children’s needs are recognized and best interests are considered both in the courtroom and in the community.
CASA volunteers are asked to meet with the child regularly and are authorized to interview people in the child’s life such as social workers, attorneys, and teachers. They attend court hearings with the child and report their findings to the judge.
“Our volunteers pledge to stay with each child until the case is closed, and the child is placed in a safe, permanent home,” said Rosemary Conder, executive director of CASA of Ohio Valley, Inc. “The advocate is often the only consistent adult presence in the child’s life.”
With more than 500 children in Daviess, Hancock and Ohio Counties awaiting a CASA volunteer, many more advocates are still needed. There are no education or professional prerequisites for becoming a CASA volunteer advocate. The only prerequisites are:
- having a desire to make a difference in the life of a child
- being at least 21 years of age
- clearing an extensive background screening
- and successfully completing 30 hours of training.
There are other opportunities to help as well!
The next advocate training session for CASA of Ohio Valley begins in May 2016.
If you are interested in learning more about becoming a CASA volunteer and the rewards that come along with serving as the voice of a child, please contact CASA of Ohio Valley, casaofohiovalley.org or 270-683-2138.