Six CASA volunteers sworn in
Team Radio Marketing Group - February 24, 2017 11:36 am
From left, the Honorable Judge Brock, Stefanie Gilbert, Kay Smith, Kali Spencer, Jessica Barnard, JacqueLynn Blackwell and Jeffrey Belair.
On Thursday, the Honorable Judge Brock swore in six community members as CASA volunteers.
The newly appointed CASA volunteers join 21 other dedicated community members who have been trained and are advocating for foster children in the county’s deprived court system. As officers of the court, they ensure that the children’s needs are recognized and best interests are considered both in the courtroom and in the community.
“I believe that every child should have a chance at lifelong bonds.” said Stefanie Gilbert, new CASA volunteer and local business owner. “They need someone who can show them how to be a good person to someone in need, while expecting nothing in return.”
CASA volunteers are asked to meet with the child regularly and are authorized to interview people in the child’s life such as social workers, parents, and teachers. They attend court hearings on behalf of the child and report their findings to the judge.
“Our volunteers pledge to stay with each child until the case is closed, and the child is placed in a safe, permanent home,” said Sharon Mocabee-Sisco, Program Director of CASA of Kay and Noble Counties. “The advocate is often the only consistent adult presence in the child’s life.”
With nearly 280 children in Kay and Noble Counties waiting for a CASA volunteer, many more advocates are still needed. There are no prerequisites for becoming a CASA volunteer other than being at least 21 years of age, clearing an extensive background screening and successfully completing the five-week training.
“I wanted to become a CASA so I could help out kids who need a voice when they don’t have one for themselves. The training was straightforward, but effective. I feel confident and I’m excited to helps kids that need it the most,” said JacqueLynn Blackwell, psychology student at the University Center.
The next advocate training session with CASA of Kay and Noble Counties begins on March 19. Those interested in learning more about becoming a CASA volunteer and the rewards that come along with serving as the voice of a child or to fill out an online volunteer application, please visit www.KayNobleCASA.org.
CASA of Kay and Noble Counties is a member of the National CASA Association, a network of more than 900 CASA programs serving children in 49 states and Washington, D.C.