LIMA — According to a press release from Crime Victim Services, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Allen and Putnam Counties had a swearing-in ceremony Oct. 31 at The Met in Lima. Eight new volunteer advocates for the program were sworn in as officers of the court by Allen County Juvenile Court Judge Todd Kohlrieser.
Prior to being sworn in, former CASA Director Tim Thurston spoke to the volunteers about the lifelong impact they will have on children in the Lima and surrounding communities.
The swearing-in was the final step for the eight advocates after they devoted 35 hours to training in areas such as trauma, resilience, poverty, mental health, substance abuse, domestic violence and their role as a CASA volunteer.
The advocates also had the opportunity to meet with each area of the Allen County Children Services Board to learn how they can work together with the assigned case worker. The eight spent an evening at Allen County Juvenile Court where they met key players of the process and participated in a mock trial.
According to the press release, the CASA program is a volunteer-driven organization dedicated to providing a voice for children who have been abused, neglected or dependent. In order to become a volunteer, special experience is not required. Volunteers must be 21, have a valid driver’s license and pass a background check. Anyone interested in learning more about becoming a volunteer should contact the CASA office at 567-940-2272 or go to [email protected].