FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – On Thursday, the newest class of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) will be sworn-in at the Allen County Court house.
The five volunteers have completed a six week, 30 hour training program to become a “voice for children who have been abused or neglected.” Allen County CASA said the new members will join over 160 other advocates and Guardian ad Litems in Allen County.
Allen County CASA said that volunteers “speak up” for the children in the court and child welfare systems to make sure they are safe, well cared for and getting services needed. They also help to get the children placed in a permanent, safe and nurturing home as quickly as possible by making recommendations to the court.
“CASA volunteers don’t require any specific educational or professional background. All they need is compassion, objectivity, and a few hours a month to visit a child. We’ll train and supervise them to be effective voices in court,” says Mell Depew, Recruitment and Training Coordinator for Allen County Office of GAL/CASA. “Our volunteers come from all walks of life, and diverse socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds. They are ordinary individuals who rise to the extraordinary by making a difference in the life of a child.”
Judge Lori Morgan will be presiding over the ceremony, Allen County CASA said.
Anyone interested in becoming an advocate for children is asked to contact Mell Depew, Recruitment and Training Coordinator, at 260-449-7190 or go allencountycasa.org to fill out a Volunteer application.