YUKON — Court-Appointed Special Advocates of Canadian County recently swore in seven new volunteers, but the organization is still in need of more.
CASA needs about 100 people to handle cases in Canadian County. CASA volunteers are court-appointed advocates for abused and neglected children.
CASA programs are available throughout Oklahoma and the United States. The need in Canadian County is particularly critical, according to a news release. There are more than 300 active cases in Canadian County where children have been alleged to be abused or neglected, and only a small number are represented by a CASA volunteer.
“There is a tremendous need for someone to speak up for these kids,” CASA board President Debra Roberts said. “They are too young to do it themselves, and it is a very confusing system even for their parents. A CASA volunteer is there solely to represent the best interest of the child and has been trained for that purpose.”
Each volunteer undergoes 30 hours of training and will spend 10 to 12 hours a month as a CASA advocate once he or she completes training.
“It’s definitely a commitment,” Roberts said. “A volunteer will typically go to court once every 60 to 90 days to present their case to the court.”
The organization will hold a meeting for potential volunteers at 7 p.m. Monday at Integris Canadian Valley Hospital, 1201 Health Center Parkway, Conference Room A/B. Anyone interested in volunteering is invited to attend, receive information and pick up an application packet.
A training class for new volunteers is set to begin later this month or in early September.
For more information on this event or to make additional inquiries, call the Canadian County CASA office at 264-5508 or email at email@example.com.