Several newly trained Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers were sworn in by Bartholomew County Juvenile Magistrate Heather Mollo as officers of the court last week.
Rick Scalf, with Advocates for Children, say the group was sworn in last Wednesday evening. He says that, as CASA volunteers, these individuals will serve “as the eyes and ears of the court, working directly with area victims of child abuse and neglect.”
Judge Mollo spoke to the necessity of volunteers just before the swearing-n ceremony. “I do not think I exaggerate,” Mollo said to the new CASA volunteers, “in saying that your work has never been more important.” The judge noted a sharp increase in Hoosier children in foster care from 2014 to 2015.
Scalf says that Advocates for Children has seen increases in their waiting list in all three counties they serve: Bartholomew, Decatur, and Jennings. He says that the children on these lists have already been removed from their homes, but do not yet have an advocate working on their behalf.
To place advocates with as many of these children as possible, Scalf says that Advocates for Children is already planning the next training class, which will begin in January.
Individuals interested in learning more about becoming a CASA volunteer, or the upcoming training session, should call Advocates for Children at (812) 372-2808, or visit the agency online at apowerfulvoice.org.