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You can be an advocate for children

Johnson City Press • Jan 6, 2018 at 12:00 AM

The Court Appointed Special Advocates program of Northeast Tennessee is in need of volunteers to assist it in the investigation of child abuse and neglect cases for local juvenile courts. These volunteers stand up for local child abuse and neglect victims in Washington, Unicoi and Greene counties.

The goal of the CASA program is to see that every child is placed in a safe and stable home. It is a task that well-trained CASA volunteers have been performing locally since 1985.

More than 3 million children a year are reported abused or neglected in the United States. These are good children who, through no fault of their own, often become trapped in an already burdened judicial system that is swamped by a heavy caseload.

It’s because of the work CASA volunteers do that many children have gone from abuse and neglect to safe and nurturing homes. Workers from the state Department of Children’s Services are often so buried under cases that they find themselves unable to devote the kind of time they would like to the children they serve.

CASA is a cost-effective approach to dealing with children who may be at risk. The organization would like to do more, but it needs help from you to do so. CASA is looking for more volunteers to help act as case workers.

The job of CASA advocates is to investigate the child’s home environment and talk to neighbors and school officials whenever possible. And remember, these CASA volunteers are ordinary people like you from a variety of backgrounds.

Only one-third of the children nationally who need a caring advocate have one. You can change that.

Learn more about CASA and its volunteer advocate training program by calling 461-3500. Information about CASA can also be found online at casanetn.org.

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