Volunteers Needed to Help Area Children

CASA IMAGEFrom a CASA News Release: Volunteers are needed in Bollinger, Cape Girardeau and Perry counties to look after the best interest of abused and neglected children. Court Appointed Special Advocates of Southeast Missouri Inc. needs volunteers to train in 2015, according to Executive Director Linda Nash.

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There are currently 28 active volunteers serving more than 45 children in the three county area. There were more than 230 children in foster care in the region last year, so the need for more child advocates to serve them is great. These children find themselves in foster care through no fault of their own and desperately need a voice in court.

The mission of the nonprofit organization is to ensure that abused and neglected children have access to a safe, permanent home as soon as possible and to watch over them while they are in foster care. Volunteers are trained, screened and provided with supervision as advocates for children who require court intervention according to Stacey Wiley, Volunteer Advocate Coordinator. Volunteers must be at least 21, have transportation, and have minimal computer skills.

According to Wiley, more than 400,000 foster children in the U.S. this year will need an advocate in the courtroom. Volunteer training will begin February 21, 2015. It includes courtroom procedures and policies, signs and symptoms of abuse or neglect in a child and how to properly gather information regarding a case for the court.

Call CASA at 573-335-1726 for further information. Interviews for the February class will be held through January 29.