CASA’s Newest Volunteers Four local people recently completed at least 34 hours of training and 2 hours of courtroom observation in order to become volunteer advocates for children in foster care. The Honorable Judge Lauri Blake administered an oath to the new CASA volunteers in the 336th District Court after training was complete. New child advocates include William and Chantal Carey of Bonham, Mitzi Jones of Bonham and Ranea Beazley of Whitewright.
All volunteers completed an intensive training class which has prepared them to serve as Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for children who have been removed from their home due to abuse and neglect. The district judge appoints CASA volunteers to serve as the Guardian ad Litem for each child who has been placed in the state’s custody. In that role, the CASA advocates will investigate the child’s situation, prepare written reports to the court and advocate for the child’s best interest in court hearings and other settings.
Before their training was complete, CASA had three cases that did not have an advocate assigned to them. CASA Program Director Sandy Hood was excited to have new advocates to assign to those cases. However, she also knows that once more children are removed, there will be a need for more trained advocates. Anyone interested in becoming a CASA can contact Hood now to begin the application process which will include background checks and a personal interview.
CASA is one program of several programs for abused and neglected children that are operated by the Fannin County Children’s Center. For more information, call (903) 583-4339 or visit www.fanninccc.org .