TERRE HAUTE —
State Sen. Tim Skinner, D-38, and state Rep. Clyde Kersey, D-43, met with CASA volunteers earlier this month to learn more about the Vigo County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program and discuss issues facing Vigo County foster children.
The legislators and CASA volunteers discussed the unique challenges facing Indiana youth in the child welfare system and the impact one person can make in a child’s life. A CASA volunteer is specially trained to represent the best interest of children who have been abused and/or neglected and be their voice as the case progresses through the juvenile court.
In 2005, legislation mandated that each child adjudicated by the court, considered a child in need of services, be appointed a GAL/CASA volunteer. This unfunded mandate has CASA programs throughout the state struggling to meet the needs of these children. CASA volunteers spend thousands of hours annually advocating and representing children in the juvenile court system due to abuse and neglect. Last year, CASA volunteers saved Vigo County taxpayers more than $1.3 million in legal fees while representing more than 300 children.
CASA recruits and trains community volunteers to be advocates for children in court. For more information on how to get involved, contact the Vigo County CASA office at 812-231-5658, email nikki.fuhrmeister@vigo
county.in.gov, or visit www.vigocountycasa.com.