(SALEM) - Campbellsburg's Paul Humphrey helps children of Washington County as a Court Appointed Special Advocate.
Humphrey is a volunteer, a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), representing children who are caught up in the legal system. To date, Humphrey has represented 26 children.
The program is for abused and or neglected children who the court has identified as a child in need of services or CHINS.
Humphrey, a self-employed contractor and woodworker, became interested in the program after reading about it in the Salem Leader. Volunteers, who must be at least 18 and undergo a background check, are required to complete a 30-hour training program.
CASA workers operate under order of the court and investigate and interview anyone involved with the child.
Humphrey said most of his cases have involved more than one child. He talks to anyone who has a role in the child's life, which the judge doesn't have time to do.
CASAs to provide an unbiased assessment of the child's needs, such as living environment, an assessment of parents, relatives and foster parents and what they believe is in the best interest of that particular child.
Humphrey is the oldest of 14, his father married four times. The grandfather of five described his childhood as happy, but said his life was often in transition so he can relate somewhat to what the children he represents are experiencing.
CASA's sole focus is on the child, unlike others involved in the case.
Humphrey estimated that when he is first assigned to a case, it might take six to eight hours a week. After that, he said, the time commitment is usually five to six hours a month or less.
There are plans for another training session soon. Anyone interested or for more information, may call 833-2888.
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