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Agency Spotlight: CASA for Kids, Inc.

April 27th, 2012 4:31 pm by Staff Report

About the agency: CASA for Kids, Inc., is an agency member of The United Way of Kingsport. CASA's mission is to advocate for abused/neglected children appointed to us through the juvenile court.


This is accomplished by recruiting, training, and supervising dedicated community volunteers. These CASA volunteers will be able to effectively research, investigate, assess, and recommend to the Court what is in the best interest of these children. This will help the Court to ensure the children end up in safe, healthy, permanent homes in an expedient manner.


CASA for Kids, Inc., advocates for the best interest of the community’s most vulnerable children - children who come to the attention of our four juvenile courts in Sullivan and Hawkins counties because they are being neglected and are at-risk of harm. CASA exists so neglected children can more quickly be protected and end up in safe, permanent homes before further harm is done. Training is extensive and involves classroom sessions, observing court hearings and mentoring with an experienced CASA volunteer, totaling about 55 hours of instruction, before being sworn in as Officers of the Court.


Young victims for whom CASA advocates come to the attention of our Juvenile Courts through no fault of their own; they did not choose their parents or their current circumstances, and they assuredly did not choose to become victims of abuse or neglect. The child victim needs an advocate who will investigate the allegations thoroughly, interviewing those who have contact with the child on a regular basis and letting the presiding judge know just what is going on by submitting a fact-based objective report with an assessment and recommendations. CASA volunteers facilitate needed services for the family’s improvement in circumstances and work toward adoption if the family cannot or will not provide a safe, stable environment. CASA volunteers work an average of 15 hours a month and a typical case lasts 13 months, until the court believes safety and stability have been achieved. To sum it up, CASA volunteers serve as advocates by becoming investigative reporters for the juvenile court judge and watchdogs for their assigned child.


Volunteer needs include:


* Becoming a CASA volunteer, or Court Appointed Special Advocate - working the children’s cases referred from juvenile court, which involve abuse and neglect


* Becoming a Board Director - primarily overseeing operation and working on public awareness and fundraising


* Becoming a CASA Ambassador - assisting in volunteer recruitment and promotion


Agency wish list includes:


Office supplies, cleaning supplies, camera, file cabinets, donations, more volunteers, prayers.


For more information, contact Connie C. Steere, Executive Director, at 423-247-1161 or email connie@casa4kidsinc.org. Or visit www.casa4kidsinc.org.


 

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