HUMBOLDT — Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children were recognized recently for their dedication and work on behalf of children involved in the court system.
CASA volunteers have worked in the 31st Judicial District, of which Allen County is a part, since 2004. Local CASA advocates also cover Woodson, Neosho and Wilson counties. At present, 39 cases are under CASA’s care in the four counties.
At least 15 new volunteers are needed, said board member Bob Heigele.
“CASA volunteers are appointed by judges to watch over and advocate for abused and neglected children, to make sure they don’t get lost in the overburdened legal and social service system or languish in an inappropriate group or foster home,” the CASA Web site notes.
“They stay with each case until it is closed and the child is placed in a safe, permanent home. For many abused children, their CASA volunteer is one constant adult presence” who watches out for their well-being.
Local volunteers typically spend six to 12 hours per week on cases, Heigele said. But the time commitment isn’t fixed. “That depends on number of clients and severity of the cases,” he noted.
Volunteers are given complete training before they can work with cases. Background checks and a willingness to travel 60 miles locally are required.
“Last year, more than 68,000 CASA volunteers served more than 240,000 abused and neglected children through 1,018 program offices. CASA volunteers have helped more than 2 million abused children since the first program was established in 1977,” their site notes.
Training for new volunteers will begin next week. Call CASA Director Aimee Daniels at 365-1448, or e-mail [email protected] for more information or to sign up.
IN HUMBOLDT on Jan. 27, 11 advocates were recognized at an awards banquet in the Humboldt High School commons.
First year advocates recognized were: Bobbie Gilpin, Karen Lee, Mickey Hicks, Iola, and Marie Jordan, Chanute. Second year were: Cathy Lynch, Iola, Aimee Daniels, Chanute, and Donald Sewell, Fredonia.
Third year advocates were: Janice Parker, Moran, Tina Knight and Debra Brown, Erie, and Betty Ritz, Fredonia.
Cindy Adams was thanked for her service as outgoing board president, and Bob Heigele as retiring board member.
Newly installed board members are: president, Ken McGuffin, Rusty Arnold, president-elect, Mark Lair, treasurer, and Shelia Lampe, secretary.