The Marshall County Commissioners were provided an update from an organization that advocates for children in the court system.
Haley Kittrell, the Director of Court Appointed Special Advocates of Marshall County, says cases involving abused and neglected children have been down in the area the first half of the year.
She says keeping their volunteers involved will be a major focus.
“Instead of recruiting volunteers, our focus has been on maintaining the volunteers we have, because we know that when volunteers don’t have cases, they tend to not be as engaged and we kind of lose track of them,” says Kittrell. “We want to make sure that when we need them that they’re still going to be there.”
The downturn in cases is not expected to last long, however, as the number of cases statewide has shown an increase. Due to the higher number of cases, serving more children by recruiting volunteers has become a major focus of the organization statewide.
According to Kittrell, the number of meth related cases has been down in the Marshall County Court system, but heroin and prescription drug cases have increased.
She says fewer cases are generally a good thing.
“We’re not seeing quite the same increase in cases that the state is seeing and I hope that continues,” says Kittrell. “I know from experience the last couple years, our numbers tend to ebb and flow and so unfortunately, I don’t think this will last.”
CASA has 40 volunteers, half of which didn’t have a case in the first part of the year.
The organization is having a volunteer appreciation dinner on Tuesday evening to learn about child welfare laws.