Shelby County’s children need advocatesPublished 4:38pm Monday, September 9, 2013
By BETH CHAPMAN / Community Columnist
Child Advocates are needed to work with abused and neglected children in Shelby County in Judge Jim Kramer’s court. The recruitment process for fall training is approaching and help is needed.
The Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) is a non-profit organization that recruits and trains volunteers to go through the court process with abused and neglected children. Their first priority is working to prevent abuse and to ensure that every child has a safe and permanent home.
CASA Volunteers serve as a child’s voice in court. They protect children from what could be to them a very intimidating legal process. Abused children do not need to be subjected to even the perception of further abuse. CASA Volunteers walk them through this process and provide support to those who might not otherwise have any.
Volunteers must complete a training program which will be held every Tuesday evening in the month of October in Pelham. The training classes will be held at the Alabama Math, Science and Technology Initiative (AMSTI) Building, which is located at 2790 Pelham Parkway. Classes will begin at 5 p.m. and a complimentary dinner will be served each week to all participants.
“We need more volunteers to help serve the children who come through Judge Kramer’s court,” said CASA Volunteer Jill Driver. “CASA Volunteers are the eyes and ears of Judge Kramer and provide him with valuable information he might not get otherwise.”
Judge Kramer said CASA Volunteers not only assist children who need it, but their services save the court and the Department of Human Resources “hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.”
CASA of Shelby County is funded in part by the Children’s Trust Fund.
For more information on CASA and how you can become a child advocate, please visit Casaofshelbycounty.org, download an application, complete and return it to the address indicated.
To learn more about the Children’s Trust Fund, visit Ctf.alabama.gov.