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Monroe Co. Looking For Court Appointed Child Advocates
Updated February 3, 2016 7:16 AM
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(BLOOMINGTON) - The Monroe County branch of Court Appointed Special Advocates is looking for volunteers to advocate for a child's well-being in cases under investigation by the Department of Child Services.

Volunteer advocates are a voice for abused and neglected children. As a CASA you establish and maintain contact with a child. CASAs are community volunteers who are professionally trained to gather information about the child and his/her family, identify needs and possible services, speak on behalf of the child in court monitoring court orders and case plans to make sure that the case is moving forward. Responsibilities include meeting with the child monthly; talking with case managers, parents and foster parents, as well as, writing reports for and attending court hearings.

CASA cases can span a long period of time, so volunteers are asked for a two-year- commitment.

In Monroe County, there are 85 children still waiting for an advocate, says Executive Director of the Monroe County CASA Kristin Bishay.

Requirements to become a CASA Volunteer:

  • Volunteers must be 21 or older
  • Volunteers need to commit one to two years of service after you have completed training
  • Volunteers must have a valid driver's license, your own transportation, and be able to travel to surrounding counties if needed
  • Volunteers need some daytime flexibility to attend court hearings and case related meetings
  • Volunteers must submit to a criminal background check
  • Volunteers must attend a 33-hour training before becoming a volunteer advocate
  • If you are a student you will need to live in or be near Bloomington during the summer

The training consists of 33 hours of training.

There are two options. One spread over two weekends, Feb. 19 through Feb. 21 and March 4 through March 6, with a break weekend in between.

The other option is to spread the training over four weeks, which extend from May 16 through June 6.

The training is meant to prepare volunteers for the real scenarios they encounter. It is common for someone to drop out during training because he or she realized that the level of commitment or necessary emotional fortitude was not for him or her.

Other Ways to Help:

  • Writing/layout/editing/publication/distribution of the program's newsletter
  • Recruiting volunteers: public speaking, staffing tables at events, talking to friends
  • Hanging CASA posters in your community
  • Inviting CASA staff to present a program to your community or civic group, recruiting volunteers, requesting a donation, etc.
  • Getting CASA information out in your workplace via e-newsletter, posters, brochures in pay envelopes, etc.
  • Organizing a fundraiser or contacting businesses for in-kind donations: food, prizes in connection with a special event or for volunteer recognition, office supplies, etc.
  • Presenting an in-service training workshop for our CASA volunteers on a topic about which you have professional expertise
  • Making your home, workplace or other facility available to the CASA program for training, volunteer recognition, special events, etc.
  • Serving on governing boards or advisory councils or their committees

Call (812) 333-CASA (2272) or email info@monroecountycasa.org to find out more about becoming a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) in Monroe County.



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