CASA teaming up with Eastern Heights Christian Church
Team Radio Marketing Group - March 2, 2017 2:09 pm
CASA of Kay and Noble Counties and Eastern Heights Christian Church are partnering together with a unique outreach. Pictured from left, Bryant Pittman, Eastern Heights Christian Church Worship and Youth Pastor; Sharon Mocabee-Sisco, CASA Program Director; Danny Cox, Eastern Heights Christian Church Senior Pastor; and Jennifer Vaughan, CASA Advocate Coordinator.
CASA of Kay and Noble Counties has an urgent need for more volunteer advocates and they’re teaming up with Eastern Heights Christian Church to help meet that need.
According to the Department of Human Services, 1,084 children were victims of abuse and neglect in Kay and Noble Counties in 2016. Only 50 of these children were able to be provided with a Court Appointed Special Advocate volunteer to advocate for their best interests.
CASA is offering a training for the EHCC congregation to become Court Appointed Special Advocate volunteers. Members of the general public is encouraged to participate as well.
The training is scheduled to begin from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Sunday, March 19, at Eastern Heights Christian Church, 5100 Lake Road in Ponca City. Volunteer applicants will meet in person with CASA staff once each week for five weeks, excluding Easter Sunday, for comprehensive training with light reading homework assigned.
At the completion of the training, volunteers will attend a court observation and be sworn in as Court Appointed Special Advocates by a judge, before beginning to advocate for abused and neglected children.
“CASA has become part of our outreach strategy to reach out beyond the walls of the church and show compassion, love and the mercy of Jesus to children whom we would not normally have the ability to influence,” Pastor Danny Cox said. “Similar strategies of outreach are being developed for older generations who need the love of Jesus.”
Members of the community can positively impact the lives of abused and neglected children by serving as Court Appointed Special Advocates. A CASA volunteer is a trained community member who is appointed by a judge to represent the best interest of a child, or family of children, in the court system.
They get to know the child while also gathering information from the child’s family, teachers, caregivers and anyone else involved in the child’s life. CASA volunteers make informed recommendations based on their independent investigation as to the child’s best interest.
Advocates act as a communications link in the maze of the child welfare system, ensuring the child’s voice is heard.
CASA volunteers come from all walks of life and do not require any specialized degrees or legal experience. They are simply people who care about children and are committed to advocate for their best interests. They are dedicated individuals connected by one goal – being part of the solution to children of abuse and neglect.
To learn more about becoming a Court Appointed Special Advocate or to complete on online volunteer application, visit www.KayNobleCASA.org or call Northern Oklahoma Youth Services CASA Program at (580) 762-8341.