New CASA Volunteers Sworn In to Advocate for Children
On Tuesday, November 17th, the Hon. Judge Jill-Ellyn Straus swore in fifteen individuals as CASA volunteers—court-appointed special advocates for abused and neglected children. Others in attendance included Chief Judge Patrick Murphy, Magistrate Frances Simonet, CASA Board Chair Kevin Kildow, Board Member Bob Grant, Board Member Donna Alengi, and the CASA of Adams and Broomfield County staff.
Family and friends gathered in the Adams County Courthouse to watch the volunteers take an oath promising to advocate for the best interest of the child.
The newly appointed CASA volunteers join over 200 other dedicated community members who have been trained and are advocating for foster children in the county’s 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. The new advocates honored during the November 17th ceremony are as followed: Amy Ehmann, Rebecca Crist, John Hough, Rebecca West, Olivia Gallegos, Monica Vanzo, Shae Martinez, Michael Behr, Carol Bliss, Kimber Kerwin, Reanna Bryant, Kyle Maher, Rosa Chambers, Patricia DeGeer, and Toni Carstensen.
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.
Before the new advocates were officially sworn-in, Chief Judge Murphy shared his appreciation for the CASA program by acknowledging the impact that the organization’s volunteers make in his courtroom. “CASA is not a pilot organization—the program works. We make a lasting impact in these children’s lives and it is the volunteers we have to thank.”
With more than 1,300 children in need of 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 Adams and Broomfield Counties begins at the end of January 2016. 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 Sara Boon at (303) 655-3924 or email@example.com.
CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Adams and Broomfield Counties is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization that works to make sure that every child who cannot live safely at home has a caring, compassionate CASA Volunteer who will help fight for their right to be safe, ensure that they are treated with dignity, and assure their safe passage out of foster care, building a stronger community for all. Each year, in Adams and Broomfield Counties, there are over 1,000 children who have been physically, sexually or emotionally abused or neglected, and who are in desperate need of a caring, committed CASA Volunteer to speak up for their best interests. In Adams and Broomfield Counties, there are over 280 CASA volunteers, but we are in need of more great community members to become advocates for children. CASA conducts volunteer training classes six times a year. For more information about CASA, call 303.654.3378 or visit www.casa17th.org.