(CASA Volunteers being sworn in | Photo courtesy of CASA of Central Oregon)
The Honorable Judge Bethany Flint recently conducted a swearing-in ceremony for 17 community members to become Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for children. The volunteers, who come from all walks of life, will speak in court for children who are in foster care in Central Oregon.
The CASA volunteer represents the child’s best interest in court and in the community during their time in foster care. All volunteers complete a thorough training process that includes 40 hours of trauma informed training, a background check, and an interview with a district court judge before being sworn-in as an officer of the court and assigned a child or sibling group currently in foster care in Crook, Deschutes, or Jefferson Counties.
“We currently have 46 children waiting to be assigned an advocate. We are very fortunate to have this new group of volunteers who are willing to dedicate their time serving our community’s most vulnerable children,” said CASA’s executive director, Heather Dion.
Last year, 448 children spent time in foster care in Central Oregon. Of these children, 373 were served by a CASA volunteer. The goal of CASA of Central Oregon is to recruit, train, and support enough volunteers so that every child in foster care has a personally assigned CASA volunteer.
CASA of Central Oregon is currently accepting applications for anyone interested in becoming a volunteer advocate. The next training session is scheduled to begin the week of January 22, 2024. Visit CasaOfCentralOregon.org/volunteer on email at email@example.com for more information.