More than 300 children were found in Adair and Cherokee County District Courts and Cherokee Tribal Court in 2020. Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Cherokee Country recruits, screens, trains, and supervises volunteers to serve as independent voices for victims of child abuse and/or neglect.
CASA of Cherokee country served less than 20 percent of those children due to COVID-19 restrictions and a need more volunteers.
More advocates can provide more children the life-changing results accomplished by CASA volunteers.
Training will be offered beginning July 5, 2021.
A preliminary interview is required, with background and references checks conducted prior to enrollment in the five-week training course.
Certification is granted when the prospective advocate completes the 30-hour training course plus six hours of courtroom observation.
CASA volunteer advocates are men and women from all walks of life. No special experience or education is required. They are appointed by a judge as officers of the court, and work with legal and child welfare professionals to ensure that judges have all the information they need to make potentially life-changing decisions for each child.
The ultimate goal is a safe, permanent home for each child. Although it varies from case to case, being a CASA usually means devoting 10 to 15 hours a month to a case for 12 to 18 months.
CASA of Cherokee Country serves young victims of abuse in Cherokee County District Court, Adair County District Court, and Cherokee Nation Tribal Court.
Individuals over the age of 21 who are interested in becoming CASA volunteer advocates are urged to phone CASA at 456-8788 to request an application and schedule an interview as soon as possible. Applications for training are also available online at www.cherokeecasa.org. The CASA office is located at 201 E. Delaware St. The deadline for applications is June 25.