Judge seeks help for abused children in Shelby County

FROM STAFF REPORTS

Judge Jim Kramer is asking for your help.

Judge Kramer works with the Court Appointed Special Advocates to assist him with his juvenile court cases. CASA recruits and trains volunteers to go through the court process with abused and neglected children and Kramer says he needs more of them. Kramer says that CASA Volunteers are his “eyes and ears” in court.

“CASA volunteers provide me with valuable information about these children and their home lives that I would not know otherwise. They provide me with the information I need to make the best decision for the children in my court,” Kramer said.

CASA volunteers complete a specified training program which qualifies them to assist Judge Kramer. It is a job that he credits with improving the quality of life for children and families and saving the county “hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.”

Once they complete training, CASA volunteers are sworn in by Judge Kramer and become official officers of the court. They advocate for the best interests of the children they serve including monitoring their interaction at school and at home.

They investigate all aspects of the cases which they are assigned by Judge Kramer. They write court reports and are accountable to him in presenting the facts of the case.

“You don’t have to have a degree or be an expert to become a CASA volunteer, just a caring and compassionate heart for abused and neglected children,” said Liz Stewart, CASA’s director of volunteers. “We will train you to do the rest.”

CASA training will begin Oct 9. For more information, download an application at Casaofshelbycounty.org or call 243-8753.

CASA is funded in part by the Department of Child Abuse Prevention and Neglect, also known as The Children’s Trust Fund of Alabama.