WARSAW — A group of local citizens stepped up Tuesday evening, March 1, and agreed to be advocates for Kosciusko County children who are somehow caught up in the court system.
Kosciusko County Superior Court I Judge David Cates swore in nine of the 11 individuals who completed training to become Court Appointed Special Advocates. With the new volunteers in place, the number of advocates in Kosciusko County has grown to 63, with the goal being 75 in place.
The two volunteers who were unable to make it to the ceremony will be sworn in privately at a later date.
Cates thanked the volunteers for giving their time to be a voice for local children. Often these children are abused or neglected and need a caring, qualified adult to be there for them.
“These folks are my eyes and ears as to what’s really happening out there,” he said. “These folks are going to advocate for the kids themselves.”
The volunteers completed hours of training prior to their swearing-in. According to the CASA website, volunteers are typically assigned one or two cases and thoroughly research and get to know each child’s background. However, they are not the same as a professional caseworker.
CASA volunteers work closely with those directly involved in each child’s life — parents, relatives, teachers, social workers, pastors and others.