Seven volunteers were sworn in as Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASAs, this week. Rick Scalf, with Advocates for Children, says the group was sworn-in Tuesday evening in the Bartholomew County Circuit Courtroom by Juvenile Magistrate Heather Mollo.
Prior to the ceremony, Advocates for Children’s Executive Director, Therese Miller, welcomed the new advocates to the agency’s staff. She noted that the volunteers represent the most important piece of the organization, doing the daily work of lifting up the lives of the children they serve. That was reflected in the individuals pledge to serve in the best interests of local children who have entered into the child protection system.
She also took a moment to thank the families in attendance for supporting their loved ones in this new endeavor. “They may have restless nights,” Miller observed, “and may not be able to tell you much about what’s happening in their case, but you’ll know that they’re making a difference.”
The volunteers sworn in will immediately begin serving cases involving children who have been the victims of child abuse and neglect in Bartholomew, Decatur and Jennings counties, said Scalf. He explains that these children are in need of trained adults to serve as their voice in the courtroom.
Scalf also noted that more than 300 additional children are still on the waiting list for a CASA. With that, he says that Advocates for Children is going to hold its next training session on March 28 in North Vernon. Scalf says the training will consist of three-hour sessions every Monday and Wednesday evening over the following six weeks.
Individuals interested in taking part in the upcoming class can sign up at the Advocates for Children’s website, apowerfulvoice.org, or call the office at (877) 604-9402.