TOP PHOTO: CASA Director Jan Jones guest spoke at the South Campbell County Rotary Club luncheon Tuesday about the need for child advocates.
By Charlotte Underwood
LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – CASA Director Jan Jones guest spoke at the South Campbell County Rotary Club luncheon Tuesday about the need for child advocates.
Jones was also welcomed as the newest member of Rotary after joining up in May.
“I am honored to join Rotary. It is a wonderful organization and I’m so glad to be a part of it,” Jones said.
She adressed Rotary members regarding CASA of Campbell County and its “great need for advocates and volunteers.”
CASA of Campbell County is a 501(c)(3) organization established in 2007 for the wellbeing of Campbell County’s children.
CASA advocates are “court appointed” adults who receive special training to be a “voice for children going through the court system.”
“Court can be a scary place for kids. Every child deserves to have a voice in court; these advocates make that possible,” Jones said.
South Campbell County Rotary Club President Rayma Daugherty is on the CASA board and said she feels it’s one of the most important programs in the county for kids.
“Advocates are strictly a voice for the children. They just report the facts and that’s so important for these kids to have in the courtroom,” Daugherty said.
Currently CASA has four active advocates sworn in, with another three about to be sworn in to start case loads. However, there 40 Campbell County children on the CASA advocate waiting list, creating a great need for additional volunteers.
Jones gave an overview of what training they receive and what advocates do.
Advocates are assigned up to two cases at a time. Cases can last one month, up to several months; advocates follow cases from beginning to end.
After receiving training, back ground checks and being sworn in, advocates then conduct a thorough investigation on each case, reach out to those associated with the case, then report in writing to the judge about what’s in the child’s best interest.
“Advocates are a voice in court for that child and a second set of eyes and ears for the court,” Jones said.
CASA is always a need for advocates and volunteers.
“Statistics show that children who have an advocate in their life are less likely to go back into the court system. If you can’t be an advocate, there are other avenues of volunteership, ” Jones said.
Jones also announced CASA’s Blue Grass Breakdown fundraiser would be held on July 23 at the Ball Event Center from 5 to 8:30pm. The evening will be full of great bluegrass and gospel music and tons of family friendly fun things to do, according to Jones. Tickets are currently on sale, as are table sponsorships.
For more information about becoming a CASA advocate or volunteer or for fundraiser tickets or table sponsorships, call 423.562.2700. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 06/22/2022-6AM)