CASA News & Events
For immediate release…
KY CASA LAUNCHES ‘BE FOR THE CHILD’ STATEWIDE VOLUNTEER RECRUITMENT CAMPAIGN
An Estimated 21,000 Kentucky Children Could Benefit from a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA); Campaign Seeks to Grow Volunteer Base to Advocate for More Children
Elizabethtown, KY – November 27, 2017 – Kentucky Court Appointed Special Advocates (KY CASA) announced the launch of a statewide campaign aimed at attracting volunteers to close the gap between abused and neglected children in need of an advocate to represent their best interests with the goal of securing a safe, permanent home. It is estimated that more than 21,000 vulnerable children in Kentucky could benefit from a CASA volunteer each year as they seek a permanent solution while navigating the juvenile court system.
“CASA Volunteers serve as the one constant in children’s lives during their time in the Family Court and Child Welfare systems,” said Debbie Smith, Executive Director of CASA of the Heartland. “There are over 130 children on the wait-list for a CASA Volunteer, a consistent person in their lives, in Hardin County.”
Across Kentucky, 831 KY CASA Volunteers currently serve 2,831 children. After extensive training and with support from the local CASA program, the CASA Volunteer is appointed by the juvenile court and has the authority to talk to all people on behalf of the child to submit a comprehensive, objective report to the court making best interest recommendations. This includes area volunteers based out of the CASA office at 245 W. Dixie Avenue in Elizabethtown, which is led by Debbie Smith. To reach 21,000 additional children, the number of volunteers in the state will need to grow exponentially – a goal KY CASA understands will take time.
“The Kentucky campaign encourages the Commonwealth’s community members to be for the child,” added Smith. “The need for Volunteers to advocate on behalf of child victims of abuse and neglect throughout Kentucky, and especially here in Hardin County, is of upmost importance. We encourage anyone who has a heart for children to please contact us to learn how you can serve as an Advocate.”
Messaging for the Be For The Child Volunteer Recruitment Campaign will be integrated and highlighted in various CASA statewide communications throughout the year. The campaign includes a website: BeForTheChildKY.org and will highlight seven distinct volunteers throughout the state through social media advertising. These special highlighted volunteers include:
· Terri Coke, CASA Volunteer, Daviess County
· Suzanne Churchwell, CASA Volunteer, McCracken County
· Richard Vietez, CASA Volunteer, McCracken County
· Pam Kaur, CASA Volunteer, Fayette County
· Ben Haydon, CASA Volunteer, Fayette County
· Eileen Donahue, CASA Volunteer, Boone County
· Tom Pike, CASA Volunteer, Oldham County
· Kerri Scisney, CASA Volunteer, Hopkins County
“I was an abused child growing up, and I remember wishing that somebody would either rescue me or just tell me that things would eventually be okay,” said CASA Volunteer Pam Kaur. “The thought of being a pillar of support to these innocent children truly appealed to me, for through my experiences I have learned that having someone in your corner can truly be life-changing.”
CASA Volunteers come from all walks of life and exhibit intelligence, heart and character. No prior experience is expected or necessary to become a volunteer. All the tools needed to be a successful advocate will be provided in the CASA Volunteer training program.
“If you are interested in becoming a CASA Volunteer, CASA of the Heartland will provide you the training and the tools necessary,” added Debbie Smith of Hardin County. “By being for the child during a traumatic time in his or her life, a CASA can make a positive impact on the child both now and in the future – which in turn helps our community prosper. We encourage those looking to make a real difference in the life of a child to contact our office at 270-982-2272 or 270-982-2274 or visit BeForTheChildKY.org to sign up or request more information.”
At BeForTheChildKY.org visitors can find out more about the experience of volunteering as a CASA and sign up to be a volunteer. For more information on KY CASA, visit: https://www.kentuckycasanetwork.org/.