FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The Allen County Court system has more child advocates after nine new trained volunteers were sworn in Tuesday.

Allen County Court Appointed Special Advocates (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.

The newest class of CASA volunteers recently completed a six week or 30 hour training program. They will join a team of more than 160 advocates who provide a voice for children who have been abused and/or neglected.

“Anybody can help I mean its just about giving a little time. I think it takes one client a year is all it takes. You can become a volunteer as well as long as you have the companion, the heart and you don’t necessarily have to have the background like myself – just to care for somebody and to want these children to be a voice for them in the courtroom,” said Michell Potts, CASA advocate.

New volunteers are always welcomed. Anyone interested in becoming an advocate for children is asked to contact Mell Depew, Recruitment and Training Coordinator, at 260-449-7190 or go to fill out a Volunteer application.