(UNDATED) - The child abuse and neglect rate in Indiana is rising.
In a majority of cases, parents are the perpetrators, and that means most of the victimized children are not able to rely on their primary caregivers as the case goes to court.
Hoosiers can help by volunteering as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA).
The volunteer gathers information about the child and the case, drafts written recommendations and then advocates for the child in court proceedings.
The CASA also keeps the child informed of all decisions and developments.
In 2009, Indiana CASAs assisted nearly 17,000 children in the state's child welfare system.
However, in 2010 there was a waiting list of 4,544 children in need of a CASA volunteer.
CASAs must be at least 21-years-old, pass a criminal background check and participate in a pre-screening interview.
New volunteers receive 30 hours of training and commit to stay involved for at least one full case.
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