The Advocacy Network for Children has announced a region-wide training initiative for October/November 2020 to respond to an urgent need for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA Volunteers).  Currently, there are more than fifty children who are in care of the court who need a CASA Volunteer who can be a voice for these children in court. CASA Volunteers do not provide legal representation, nor do they replace social workers.  They are an independent voice speaking solely for the best interests of the child.

With methamphetamine addiction continuing to be a large problem in our community, coupled with domestic violence, the number of children in care continues to rise. Many times toddlers and school age children are left unsupervised or inadequately supervised when parents are under the influence.

The number of children served by the Advocacy Network for Children’s CASA program has grown 90% since 2018 yet there is still a need for more volunteers to serve more children.  As a result,  CASA is seeking caring adults to become advocates for abused and neglect children.

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The hybrid training course for CASA volunteers will begin on October 19th.  The training course prepares volunteers to be the best advocates with a four week, 30-hour curriculum which covers topics such as: The Well-Being of the Child, Trauma, Resilience and Communication Skills, Mental Health, Poverty and Professional Communication and Substance Abuse and Cultural Competence.  No special background is required to become a CASA volunteer.

Advocacy Network for Children provides CASA services in Adams, Hancock, Pike, Brown, Schuyler, Cass and Morgan Counties in West-Central Illinois.

The first step is to attend a 30-minute informational session or contact Danielle Buss, CASA Manager, 217-223-2272 or dwoodyard@advonet.org.

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