CASA celebrates special month early

Published 4:49 pm Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Next month will begin Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month nationwide. There will be many local and national festivities marking the celebration of this proactive month, but CASA of Shelby County is celebrating a month early by announcing their next CASA volunteer training class, which will begin in April.

The training classes will be held in Columbiana on April 13–16 and April 20–23 from 6–9 p.m.

CASA of Shelby County is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization, which recruits and trains volunteers to go through the court process with abused and neglected children. Many people want to help, but think they are not qualified to do so. Never fear –– CASA has a 40–hour training course that teaches you everything you will need to know and more in order to work with these special children in their court cases.

The training classes are taught by a variety of people including CASA’s Volunteer Coordinator Mac Stinson, Family Court Judge Jim Kramer and representatives from agencies such as DHR. They train and prepare individuals for the work of CASA volunteers. The end result is to serve the best interests of the children they serve in the best most affective way possible.

CASA volunteers can impact children’s lives in a positive way by advocating for their rights. They are the eyes and ears of the court by providing the judge with valuable information he might not get otherwise.

Once they complete training, volunteers are sworn in by Judge Kramer and become official officers of the court. Not only does CASA help the children they serve, but they also help the taxpayers of the state. It is predicted that for every $1 spent on prevention now, saves between $19 and $25 on in–care services in the future.

CASA of Shelby County is funded by grants made available by Children’s Trust Fund, United Way of Central Alabama, a Shelby County Community Grant and their annual CASA Roast.

For more information on how to become a CASA Volunteer visit or call Mac Stinson at 669-6498.