TERRE HAUTE —
Court Appointed Special Advocates, known as CASA, will begin training a new group of volunteers on Jan. 23.
CASA volunteers advocate on behalf of children from abused and neglected homes during court hearings.
Even after adding new CASA volunteers Natasha Smith and Rita Drake — who completed a blended independent study, taking one or two cases — there still is a waiting list of children who need an advocate, according to a news release.
As of mid-December, there were 244 new children who were victims of abuse and neglect in 2012.
The training curriculum to become a volunteer comprises 30 hours of pre-service training. The training covers topics from the role of the CASA volunteer to laws, report writing to understanding children and families among other topics. In addition, there will be juvenile courtroom observation.
Anyone who wants to get involved can contact the Vigo County CASA office at 812-231-5658, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.vigocountycasa.com.