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  • Last modified 149 days ago (Feb. 22, 2018)

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Making a difference in the lives of children

Staff writer

Time and compassion can make a real difference in the life of an abused or neglected child.

Court-appointed special advocates are volunteers who engage with children to provide insight to the court system as it deals with the issue of what needs to be done for the child.

Hope Manchester, CASA case supervisor for Marion and Morris counties, said CASA volunteers have to be 21 or older, commit to serving as an advocate for at least a year, complete an application and background check, take 30 hours of training, and attend court when required.

CASA training will be available 9 a.m. to noon four Wednesday evenings in April at the Civic Center in Hillsboro, Manchester said.

“We’ll talk about signs of abuse, what needs to be reported, what doesn’t need to be reported,” Manchester said.

Guest speakers, possibly including district judge Michael Powers, will talk to the class.

Volunteers will be taught how to write a court report and what to expect during a day in court on behalf of the child.

“It’s very important to get volunteers in our own communities,” Manchester said.

Seeing a child through the court process doesn’t end the relationship with the child, Manchester said.

“CASA volunteers often continue to mentor the children after the case is closed,” she said.

People interested in learning more about the CASA program can attend an open house from 10 a.m. to noon March 10 at the Civic Center in Hillsboro.

RSVPs to enroll in training are due by March 15 and can be made by emailing casavvolunteer@8thjd.com or calling (785) 762-3907.

Last modified Feb. 22, 2018

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