Evangeline (Vangie) Smith and Lisa Kiser recently spoke about CASA at the Kiwanis Club dinner meeting at the Quality Inn in Scottsburg. Vangie is a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) and her daughter, Lisa, is the Volunteer Coordinator for CASA of Scott County, Inc. Pictured from left to right are Kiwanis President David Wilson, Vangie Smith and Lisa Kiser.
In the judicial system for a case involving children, the parents are represented by an attorney. The interests of the government are represented by the prosecuting attorney. A trained volunteer appointed by the court represents the interests of the child or children involved. These volunteers are formally known as a Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA). The Court Appointed Special Advocate seeks to find the safest, best place for the child, and to find a final placement for the child, such as a foster care or adoption.
In Scott County in 2015 there were 27 active CASA volunteers advocating for 81 children. However, there are 294 children in need of services. 213 children were waiting to have CASA volunteers assigned to their cases. More than 30 new CASAs are needed to give every child a voice in the judicial system.
CASA of Scott County has launched a campaign to raise $20,000 for an additional qualified staff member to recruit, train and support more Court Appointed Special Advocate volunteers.
If you would like to learn more about CASA, to become a Court Appointed Special Advocate or to donate money, please contact Kelly Shelhamer, Executive Director of CASA of Scott County, 36 Forrest Avenue, Scottsburg, IN 47170. Phone 812-752-4748. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vangie thanked the Scottsburg Kiwanis Club for supporting CASA of Scott County with its pancake breakfasts, 5K Run/Walk, repair and maintenance of the CASA House, and financial donations.
The members of the Scottsburg Kiwanis Club thanked Vangie for her presentation, and thanked all the people who are CASA volunteers and supporters.