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CASA seeks child advocates

Posted: Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Juneau Court Appointed Special Advocate Program is recruiting volunteers to be the voice of hope for abused, neglected or abandoned children in our community. You are invited to attend a one-hour information meeting on any of the following dates:

• Tuesday, July 27, 12-1 p.m. at the Valley Library

• Tuesday, August 3, 5:15-6:15 p.m. at the Valley Library

• Thursday, August 5, 12-1 p.m. at the Downtown Library.

You must attend one information meeting in order to participate in the training.

Every year in Juneau, children are removed from their homes and placed in foster care because they cannot live safely at home. This removal immediately introduces the children to a host of strangers: police, foster parents, therapists, social workers, judges, lawyers and more. If a child is lucky, one of these strangers is a CASA volunteer.

A CASA volunteer watches over and advocates for the children to make sure they don't get lost in the overburdened legal system or languish in foster care. A volunteer stays with a case until the child is placed in a safe, permanent home and the case is closed. For many children, a CASA volunteer is the one constant adult presence - someone who cares for them and watches out for their best interests.

In 2009 there were approximately 26 CASA volunteers in Juneau, representing the best interests of 69 children in Juneau. Currently there are 179 children in foster care in our area.

We are looking for volunteers who can be objective and committed. No legal background or special experience is required. The free 32-hour core training begins September 16 (nights and weekends). Volunteers must be at least 21 years of age and undergo a screening, including a background check.

For more information, call Lynn Squires-White, Juneau CASA Program Coordinator at 465-2268, or visit the Alaska CASA website at www.alaskacasa.org.



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