Welborn swears in 7 child advocates

Published 10:49 am Monday, April 15, 2024

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Seven new Court Appointed Special Advocates have been sworn in by District Judge Erin Welborn.

CASA is a non-profit organization which recruits and trains volunteers to go through the court process with abused and neglected children. Once they are appointed to a case by Judge Welborn, it is their job to advocate for the best interests of the child. That may be monitoring the child’s counseling sessions, the parent’s court orders or supervising visits at the Patricia M. Smith CASA House.

“CASA has often been called a child’s ‘voice’ in court,” Welborn said. “They are a huge asset to my courtroom, the work we do and the children we serve.”

The courtroom and the court process can oftentimes be an intimidating process for anyone, much less a child. CASA volunteers walk with the child through the process and give them the one-on-one attention they deserve.

CASA volunteers go through a five-week training program and must pass a background check to qualify to serve. They don’t have to be educated in any certain subject they just need to have a caring heart and a willingness to help others. Participants in the CASA program are trained for all the duties they will be asked to perform.

Other duties may include writing court reports, monitoring court orders and accompanying the child to court. The ultimate mission of CASA is to ensure that every child they serve has a safe and permanent home.

Those interested in learning more about the CASA program and how to help, may visit Casaofshelbycounty.org. CASA is funded in part by the Children’s Trust Fund, a Shelby County Community Grant, other individuals and corporations. Out of the money raised, 100 percent stays in Shelby County