The Washington Times-Herald

Local News

September 14, 2013

Circuit court judge swears in 3 CASA volunteers

Daviess County now has three more Court Appointed Special Advocates after Circuit Court Judge Gregory A. Smith swore in Misty Kelsey, Karen Powers and Summer Chesser on Wednesday.

“CASA volunteers represent children in need of services and are appointed by a judge to speak on behalf of what is best for the child,” said Sandy Bowman, CASA director.

“We have about a dozen volunteers that serve around 60 children in our county.”

Bowman said that typically each local volunteer represents about two cases a year.

The CASA program was first started in 1977 in Seattle, Wash., after Seattle Juvenile Court Judge David W. Soukup realized that children entered into the legal system due to neglect or abuse were often times “re-victimized by the courts and over-burdened, understaffed, public social service agencies,” according to the CASA for children website. Lawyers represented parents and the state but the children, who had the most at stake in the proceedings, were often unrepresented.

Soukup started training volunteers to represent the children as Guardians Ad Litems or GALS. In 1978, the program was brought to the attention of the Children in Placement of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and CASA was born.

The program reached Indiana in 1989 and there are now CASA programs in 73 of Indiana’s 92 counties.

“What you are doing is some of the most important work done in the courts,” said Judge Smith. “Without volunteers, this just wouldn’t work. This can be heartwrenching at times but it can also be quite rewarding.”

In 2005, the Indiana Legislature mandated that all children involved in cases of neglect or abuse be appointed a CASA or GAL. The volunteers stay on each child’s case until the case is closed and the child is placed in a safe and permanent home.

CASA volunteers require no specialized degree or legal experience but all volunteers must be over the age of 21, commit to complete a 30-hour minimum training course and have a flexible schedule and transportation. On average, many volunteers go to court about four or five times per year and have a few meetings to attend.

Seven local volunteers will be traveling to the state CASA/GAL conference in Indianapolis today. “This is a chance for us to come together to get training through the state office,” said Bowman.

For more information on becoming a CASA volunteer, visit www.casaforchildren.org or contact the local office at 254-8670.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Man killed in motorcycle crash south of Monroe City

    A  Vincennes man died in a motorcycle accident on Friday afternoon south of Monroe City.

    April 19, 2014

  • Horoscope HAPPY BIRTHDAY for Sunday, April 20, 2014: This year you often put in extraordinary effort to make your dreams a reality. The toll that these efforts take on you could be high. You love living life to the fullest when you feel like you're 100 perc

    April 19, 2014

  • Property taxes, short term loan discussed at B-R school meeting

    MONTGOMERY -- The Barr-Reeve School Board meeting was opened for comments Thursday from school patrons and Lana Helms asked about the increase in the property tax statement that she recently received. Helms said it was about a considerable increase.

    April 19, 2014

  • Saturday's police report CITY REPORT Friday 12:57 p.m. - A male caller said he witnessed, while playing golf, a red Jeep strike a sign and a telephone pole at the intersection of Northeast 12th Street and Brett Cabel Road. A stop sign was damaged, but the Jeep was not found.

    April 19, 2014

  • Griffith50 Griffith Elementary turns 50 Helen Griffith Elementary is celebrating a milestone as the school turns 50-years old. Earlier this week, current students and staff at the school met on the playground for a photo to commemorate the anniversary. Students sat in the formation of th

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • TaylirAnn.jpg No Headline Provided Taylor Mr. and Mrs. Kenny Taylor will celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary today. Kenny Taylor and Ruth Lengacher were married April 19, 1969. The couple has one daughter, Sheila and Spencer Gingerich of Montgomery, and one son, Mark Taylor of L

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • frocks 'Forget the Frock' is a T-shirt with a real message New frilly dresses and tailored suits for Easter have been a tradition for many years, but a relatively new movement across the United States is changing that tradition for some local community members, as well as others across the country. "Forget

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Washington school transportation funding takes another hit The wheels on the buses are still going round and round for the Washington Community Schools, but the funding to keep them rolling all through the town is dwindling. The loss of tax revenue has caused the school board to look into funds other than th

    April 18, 2014

  • citytowergraphic.jpg High but not dry

    The city of Washington is constructing a 600,000-gallon water tower east of the city. Here's some information supplied by the city on the new tower.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS - WT041814 - CoatsMug - NBS GOP set for Lincoln-Reagan Day celebration U.S. Sen. Dan Coats will be the featured speaker at the annual Daviess County Republican Lincoln-Reagan dinner. The dinner is set for April 22 at the Padaco event center. "Senator Coats is always a big draw at Lincoln Day dinners across the state and

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo