Local News

New CASA Volunteers Sworn In to Advocate for Children


May 15, 2014

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On May 1, 2014, the Hon. Henry Rawson swore in six volunteers as CASA volunteers—court-appointed special advocates for abused and neglected children.

The newly appointed CASA volunteers join eight other dedicated community members who have been trained and are advocating for children in the county’s juvenile dependency court system. As officers of the court, they ensure that the children’s needs are recognized and best interests are considered both in the courtroom and in the community.

CASA volunteers are asked to meet with the child regularly and are authorized to interview people in the child’s life such as social workers, attorneys, and teachers. They attend court hearings with the child and report their findings to the judge.

“Our volunteers pledge to stay with each child until the case is closed, and the child is placed in a safe, permanent home," said Tara Serles, Okanogan County CASA Coordinator. "The advocate is often the only consistent adult presence in the child’s life.”

With more than 90 active dependency cases in Okanogan County, many more advocates are still needed. There are no prerequisites for becoming a CASA volunteer other than being at least 21 years of age, clearing an extensive background screening and successfully completing 30-40 hours of training.

If you are interested in learning more about becoming a CASA volunteer and the rewards that come along with serving as the voice of a child, please contact Tara Serles at (509) 422-7259 tserles@co.okanogan.wa.us.

The Okanogan County CASA program is a member of the National CASA Association, a network of more than 900 CASA programs serving children in 49 states and Washington DC. 

 


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