Kelly Shelhammer, Executive Director for Scott County CASA, recently spoke to the Kiwanis about CASA. Pictured are from left to right Kelly Shellhammer, CASA Executive Director; Kiwanis Member Wes Clark and Carol Dunn, President of the CASA Board of Directors. Carol Dunn introduced Kelly Shelhamer, the new Executive Director of CASA of Scott County, to the members of the Scottsburg Kiwanis Club.
CASA stand for “Court Appointed Special Advocate”, the official name for a volunteer who speaks up for a child’s best interest. Volunteers are trained to become acquainted with the children and make recommendations to the judge.
A CASA volunteer is appointed to serve as an advocate for children who are abused or neglected. A CASA volunteer finds out what’s going on in the children’s lives. The volunteer meets with the child on a regular basis, perhaps at school, or in a home, or wherever the child is currently living.
The judge makes sure that a child who has been abused or neglected receives counseling, if required, or other services such as educational or health related needs.
After listening carefully to the recommendations of the CASA volunteer, the social worker, parents, and others, the judge might place the child in foster care or with a close relative.
The judge may issue several orders such as counseling, substance abuse treatment, anger management or parent training. The orders should be followed to allow for the children to go back home in a timely manner.
Simply put, the CASA volunteer serves as the eyes and ears of the court. CASA volunteers are not paid for anything that they do to help families and children they work with.
CASA of Scott County was started by the Hon. Judge Roger Duvall in 2008. Currently CASA has over 30 volunteers who advocate for over 75 children with open Child In Need Of Services cases.
The Scottsburg Kiwanis Club will help CASA of Scott County with maintenance work at the CASA house for Kiwanis One Day on April 2nd, a day when Kiwanis Clubs throughout the nation perform community service projects. The Scottsburg Kiwanis Club will sand doors, stain the front ramp, spread mulch, and other jobs to brighten up the CASA house.
The Scottsburg Kiwanis Club thanked Carol and Kelly for their presentation, and thanked all the CASA volunteers who serve the children of Scott County.
There are many children in Scott County who have need of a CASA volunteer, but do not have one. If you would like more information about CASA, or if you would like to become a CASA volunteer, please contact CASA of Scott County, 36 Forrest Avenue, Scottsburg, IN 47170; phone 812-752-4748; email firstname.lastname@example.org.