CASA at Woodlawn is hosting volunteer advocate training starting 6-8:30 p.m. today and running through Aug. 25 each Monday and Thursday. CASA at Woodlawn has increased the number of cases served from less that 5 percent in 2007 to nearly 25 percent in 2010.
Despite this increase, CASA at Woodlawn is only able to serve one out of four cases involving child victims in Boyle and Mercer counties.
Volunteers are appointed by Family Court Judge Bruce Petrie to speak for the best interests of children in Boyle and Mercer counties who are brought before the court for reasons of abuse, neglect or dependency.
CASA volunteers serve as friends of the court, working alongside attorneys and social workers. By handling only one or two cases at a time, the volunteers thoroughly explore the history of each assigned case. A volunteer talks with the child, parents, family members, neighbors, school officials, doctors and others involved in the child’s background who might have facts about the case.
The volunteer reviews all court facts and documents pertaining to the case. Volunteers are expected to submit formal reports to Judge Petrie at every scheduled hearing.
CASA continues to monitor the case to assure that the judicial and child welfare systems are moving ahead to secure a safe, permanent home for the child, and that court-ordered services are provided to the child and family.