In Starke County, on average , 27 children who have been abused or neglected are involved in the court system every year. The main goal of a CASA is to ensure the needs of those children are met. CASA stands for court appointed special advocate and the program provides volunteers to advocate for abused and neglected children involved in the court system. Starke County CASA is searching for more volunteers for their upcoming training class scheduled to commence August 11.
For those who are unfamiliar with the concept, Director Rhonda Adcock explained what CASAs are, “They’re a trained volunteer. They go through 5 criminal background checks in order to be able to serve and then they have a pretty extensive training program, it lasts about 30 hours.”
The training program starts on Tuesday August 11 and runs from 5 until 8 pm on the third floor of the Court House in the jury room. The program will then take place every Tuesday for 9 weeks.
The goal this year is to have 10 individuals enrolled in the training program. Director Adcock said that so far, six people have turned in applications and have gone through the interview process. This means four more spots still remain before the goal is met. Just because 10 people is the goal, does not mean only 10 people can attend the training. Rhonda said she will take applications from as many people as possible. When more individuals sign-up up to volunteer, it significantly reduces the amount of children on the waiting list.
Adcock will accept applications from now until the first day of training, she said she is even willing to do interviews that day. For more information, to obtain an application or to set up an interview contact Rhonda Adcock at (574)-772-7200.