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CASA in need of volunteers

By: WJAC Web Staff

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. -- Officially known as a Court Appointed Special Advocates also informally known as CASA, are meant to have a childs best interest at heart.

CASA represents children in cases where they are often abused or neglected.

Lindsay Ward found out there is a strong need for volunteers to help them.

The CASA is issued a court order is issued by the court that allows them access to the information that is necessary for them to investigate and help these children, said public relations volunteer CASA coordinator Cathy Ritter.

CASA is a nationwide program and the need for volunteers nationally and locally is on the rise.

Ritter said hundreds of thousands of children benefited from the program but there are too many that go without.

So the fact that there are children out there waiting for CASAs is really an indication of the need that we have to have trained volunteers, said Ritter.

6 News was told there are not many qualifications in order to be a CASA volunteer but it is a time commitment and some cases could last for years.

We are required to visit the children at least twice a month and we have to do reports at the end of every month and we have to attend hearing at the courthouse, said CASA volunteer Terry Lengenfelder.

Lengenfelder said she has been a CASA volunteer for three years and admits numerous hours are spent volunteering but the time is worth it. 

Theres nothing better than to have a 2-year-old child to tell you hes proud of you too, said Lengenfelder. Which is what I experienced with my first family. 

A CASA training course is to occur on March 24 and those interested are encouraged to sign up.

 
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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times

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