Neglected and abused children across Starke County are frequently removed from their homes because their parents cannot or will not properly take care of them. The Starke County Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program provides those children with caring volunteers who serve as a voice and guiding hand in the court system. The advocates work to help find safe and permanent living situations for the child they’re assigned to. Right now the program is short staffed and looking for some extra helping hands to join up and attend their instructive course this fall.
The director of the program Rhonda Adcock said unfortunately they have more kids than helpers at the moment.
“Right now we have 25 CASAs serving in our community and we could probably use another ten more. For the first time ever in our program in the last three months we’ve currently started holding a waiting list. Which means a child doesn’t get a CASA just as soon as they come into court. That’s what we like, we like for the CASA to be in there right from the beginning, to be at the very first court hearing and be able to advocate all the way through and now we’re running probably about three months behind. So it’s really a critical time for our current CASA program to have this class to be able to recruit more helpers”
The process to get involved is fairly simple and essentially free when you dedicate a year to the CASA program.
Adcock explained, “In order to be part of our fall class we would need whoever is interested to get an application, that’s the first process and we can email that out our send that out which ever they prefer and they return the application and then we start the background check process which probably takes about three weeks. The only thing that costs money is the finger prints which is about I think $35 and that is reimbursed to them after one year of CASA service”
You can receive your application by either calling the office at (574)-772-7200 or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for application submission is July 28. They are searching for ordinary people who want to do extraordinary things. Be the guiding light in a child’s life and contact CASA today.