SIDNEY — Shelby County CASA/GAL needs help.
The court appointed special advocates/guardians ad litum are volunteers who represent the best interests of abused, neglected and dependent children in juvenile court.
In 2017, 115 children had advocates. So far in 2018, CASA has appointed advocates for 102 children. More volunteers are needed.
“As you can imagine, we are in need of caring, community individuals who can represent the abused and neglected children in court. Unfortunately, Shelby County CASA has recently turned away two children due to overloaded caseloads. We know more cases are coming and we need more CASAs,” said CASA Director Bridget Davis.
Volunteers must be at least 21, have high school diplomas or GEDs and be willing to undergo a background check. They also must complete a 30-hour training course, some of which is web-based, so access to an Internet-connected computer is required.
Shelby County CASA/GAL will have preservice training, June 4 to July 9. Training will take place Mondays, from 6 to 9 p.m., in the Shelby County courthouse in Sidney.
Once trained, volunteers are responsible for conducting interviews with all interested parties in a case, providing a report to the juvenile judge or magistrate, attending meetings and court hearings and conducting home visits with the children they advocate for.
“The Shelby County United Way, a funding sourse of CASA, has challenged us to recruit more male volunteers,” Davis said. “Out of the 30 volunteers we currently have, only three are men.”
For information or to volunteer, call 498-7447 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.