Fifteen New CASA Volunteers Sworn In to Advocate for Children
This morning, The Honorable Judge Robin Ransom swore in 15 new CASA volunteers— court-appointed special advocates for abused and neglected children.
Voices for Children Staff along with a host of family and friends gathered in the cafeteria of the St. Louis City Family Court to watch the volunteers take an oath promising to advocate for the best interest of children.
The newly appointed CASA volunteers will join 200 other dedicated community members who have been trained and are advocating for foster children in St. Louis’ juvenile dependency 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.
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, attorneys, and teachers. They attend court hearings with 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 Cheryl Latham, Director, County CASA and Volunteer Engagement. “The advocate is often the only consistent adult presence in the child’s life.”
With more than 1,000 of the region's children 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 30 hours of training.
The next advocate training session for St. Louis City and County begins Wednesday, May 16, 2018 . If you are interested in learning more about becoming a CASA volunteer and the rewards that come along with serving as the voice of a child, please contact Beth Fultz at 314.615.4594 or by e-mail at email@example.com.