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With the recent news stories about child abuse, and death, it is easy to turn away and let the social service system deal with the problems.
In Trimble Family Court, the events that sometimes bring out the worst in parents are examined and remedies are put into place. But family court judges, lawyers and social workers have hundreds of cases each year, and sometimes, the child goes back to the same home with the parents or caregivers that mistreated them in the first place.
Who is there for the child to rely on? Who is there for the child to trust? Who is there that will listen to the child when the adults are immersed in their own battles?
CASA of the River Region operating in Trimble County, trains community volunteers to represent the best interests of children who are before the Court because of abuse or neglect. CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocates, is a nationally-recognized program that brings help and hope into the lives of these children.
CASA ensures that both the child welfare system and the court system are up to date about the child’s care with well researched reports based on weekly one-on-one home visits. Because of their legal status as “friends of the Court”, CASA volunteers cut through much of the red tape and gives the child consistent support while their families are involved in the lengthy court process.
The greatest strength of the CASA program resides with the volunteers themselves. They are school teachers, bus drivers, retired office workers, and homemakers who listen to the heartbreaking stories and learn the darkest secrets of the young victims. They know that children grow up best in their own families, and when possible, they help preserve that family unit, making sure safeguards are in place. In some cases, volunteers help the child build ties with a new family, often in a foster home.
Volunteer advocates become knowledgeable in every element of a child’s life, taking on only one case at a time. They devote the time to build a trusting and supportive relationship and research the circumstances that the child lives with. It is a unique and rewarding volunteer opportunity that caring adults undertake. Although the program requires a substantial commitment of time, the impact on a child’s life is huge.
There is a growing need for volunteers in Trimble County. As maltreatment of the most vulnerable members of our community comes to light, we can no longer look the other way. During this time of giving and reflection, please find in yourself the light to make the days brighter for these children.
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, contact Carolyn Smither, Program Manager for Henry, Oldham and Trimble Counties at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (502) 225-4424.