The Scottsburg Kiwanis Club learned more about CASA and NYAP during a recent presentation at their weekly dinner meeting at the Quality Inn. Pictured are from left to right Lori Baxter, Kiwanis member; Julie Thomas, NYAP; Carol Dunn, vice president of the Board of Directors of CASA of Scott County; Charlie Moore; Sheilah Williams, a CASA volunteer; Kenneth Moore; and David Wilson, Kiwanis President. Charlie and Kenneth Moore are the CASA family featured in this year’s campaign, “Kids Can’t Wait!”
CASA, which stands for Court Appointed Special Advocate, is a national program which recruits and trains community volunteers to serve as guardians to represent the child’s needs and wishes for those children entering the child welfare system. In Indiana there are CASA programs in 78 of the 92 counties. Scott County Judge Roger Duvall was instrumental in starting CASA in Scott County in 2007.
Last year’s CASA campaign raised funds to hire a full-time volunteer coordinator. With Lea Ann Callico as executive director and Lisa Kiser as the volunteer coordinator, CASA of Scott County now has 38 volunteers. Eight new CASA volunteers were sworn in on August 28th. More kids are being served by CASA volunteers today than yesterday. When a child has a CASA volunteer to be an advocate for the child’s best interests, the child is placed in a foster home eight months earlier than those who do not have a CASA volunteer.
Sheilah Williams is a CASA volunteer for Kenneth Moore. Sheilah became involved with Kenneth and his father, Charlie Moore, in 2009. Kenneth was in a pre-adoptive home, but that family was not able to go through with his adoption. Charlie attended all of the CASA meetings for Kenneth, started going to church, became drug-free and got a job. Charlie gives all the praise to God for the positive changes in his life. Judge Duvall had confidence in Sheilah’s recommendation to let Charlie take care of his son. Charlie and Kenneth are now reunited, and Kenneth is in the 8th grade.
Julie Thomas works with NYAP, the National Youth Advocate Program. NYAP licenses foster homes and provides training classes to give people the skills and knowledge they need to become a successful foster parent. Children benefit from nurturing and stable family lives. Foster parents change the lives of children and themselves. Foster parents help create stability for children during difficult times, often as they wait to be reunited with their natural parents or prepare for adoption.
NYAP is searching for caring adults to become a foster parent. NYAP foster parents receive per diem pay based on the needs of the child or youth. For more information visit their website, http://www.nyap.org.
The Scottsburg Kiwanis Club congratulated Charlie and Kenneth Moore for representing all CASA families during the “Kids Can’t Wait” campaign. The Club thanked Carol Dunn, Sheilah Williams and Julie Thomas for all that they do to serve the needs of the children of Scott County.