CASA seeks volunteer advocates to help local children

BY STAFF REPORTS
07/22/2020 02:30 PM
TAHLEQUAH – Across the United States more than 750,000 children are living under the protective supervision of a state court because their parents or caregivers have abused, neglected or abandoned them. The lucky ones will be in the court system for only a year or 18 months.

Court Appointed Special Advocates of Cherokee Country is a volunteer program that recruits and trains volunteers to serve as advocates for abused and neglected children in juvenile-deprived proceedings in Cherokee and Adair County District Courts and Cherokee Nation Tribal Court.

More than 220 abused and-or neglected children were found in these three courts in 2019.

CASA volunteer advocate training will begin Aug. 17. Interviews and all training sessions will be conducted virtually. Certification will be granted upon completion of the 30-hour training course and six hours of courtroom observation.

Interviews, background checks and reference checks must be completed prior to entering training. No special education or experience is required.

CASA volunteer advocates are independent voices for young victims ranging in age from newborn to 18. They are men and women who gather information to present to juvenile judges, working alongside attorneys and case workers as sworn officers of the court. The focus of their objective appraisals is the best interest of the children. Their goals are to see children placed in safe, permanent homes.

Individuals 21 years old and older who are interested in becoming CASA volunteer advocates can call CASA of Cherokee Country at 918-456-8788 or 1-866-400-8788 to request applications and arrange for virtual interviews. Applications are available at the CASA office, 201 E. Delaware St., or online at www.cherokeecasa.org. The deadline for applications is Aug. 10.

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