Nine new volunteers have been sworn in as CASA volunteers — Court-Appointed Special Advocates for abused and neglected children in Butler County.
Butler County Juvenile Judge Kathleen Romans swore in the new volunteers in May.
The nine new CASA volunteers promising to speak up for the best interest of children who are under the court’s protective supervision due to abuse, neglect, domestic violence, parental drug addiction or abandonment are Beverly Blevins, Jayne Davidson, Megan Eastman, Connie Girard, Shane Reifsteck, Carol Schaber, Susan Johnson, Diane Neilson and Alyssa Weisman.
The newly appointed CASA volunteers join 533 other community members who have been trained and have advocated for foster children in the county’s juvenile dependency court system.
As officers of the court, the CASA volunteers ensure that the children’s needs are recognized and best interests are considered both in the courtroom and in the community, according to the county.
CASA volunteers are asked to meet with the child regularly and are authorized to interview people in the child’s life such as parents, social workers, attorneys, medical providers, relatives and teachers. They attend court hearings with the child and report their findings to the judge.
“Our volunteers pledge to be appointed to a child until the case is closed, and the child is safe and placed in a nurturing, permanent home," said Chris Schultz. Executive Director, PARACHUTE: Butler County CASA. "The CASA volunteer is often the only consistent adult presence in the child’s life and can truly make a positive difference.”
Many children are waiting for a CASA volunteer, and 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, interests in children’s rights and well-being, and successfully completing 30 hours of CASA training.
The next advocate training session for Butler County begins in the fall. If you are interested, contact Schultz at 513 867-5010 or visit www.parachutecasa.org