Cullman County CASA volunteers needed

By:
0
1696
Cullman County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) is in need of volunteers to assist with local youth involved with DHR or Family and Safety Plans or who are otherwise involved in the court system. (Cullman County CASA)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Cullman County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) is in need of volunteers to assist with local youth involved with DHR or Family and Safety Plans or who are otherwise involved in the court system.

Candace Lingo, one of Cullman County CASA’s case managers, described volunteer advocates as “appointed by a judge to recommend the best possible outcome for an abused or neglected child’s future. Whether this means helping to make a connection with adoptive parents or safely reuniting the child with parents or relatives, the ultimate goal of the CASA volunteer is to help ensure that every one of these kids can live in a safe, permanent home.”

Volunteer advocates attend any judicial proceedings to speak for the child or children involved, allowing the feelings and emotions of a high-stress time to be pushed to the wayside and truly voice the needs of the child, in and out of a courtroom. In addition to being court-appointed advocates, CASA volunteers often forge friendships and bonds with the clients they serve, acting as mentors.

Currently, Cullman County CASA serves over 160 children in the area and has only 23 volunteer advocates.

“These kids deserve someone consistent and who will show up,” said Lingo. “Recently, we had a graduate that did not have anyone to go dress shopping with, so a volunteer went with (her).”

An average of 12 hours a month is all that is needed to claim the title of CASA volunteer advocate. Interested volunteers must be 21, have reliable transportation, have the ability to pass a DHR and criminal background check and complete a 30-hour training over approximately five weeks.

Volunteers are expected to meet with the children at least once a month, to do an independent evaluation of the parent home or home of anyone interested in placement of the children. The volunteer will also attend court as the appointed case comes on the docket, locate resources for the children and family and give recommendations in a written report based on the facts of the case.

Lingo shared, “The more consistent and dedicated people that we can have to be with the children through this process, the better.”

To become a volunteer advocate, contact Cullman County CASA at 256-739-1111 or cullmancountycasa@msn.com.

Cullman County CASA is located at 402 Arnold St. NE. Hours are Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Find out more at www.cullmancaringforkids.com/casa.html.

Copyright 2024 Humble Roots, LLC. All Rights Reserved.