#childabuse | CASA volunteers needed as program expands

Officials with the Advocacy Network for Children said volunteers are desperately needed to serve as advocates for neglected and abuse children.

A recent federal report showed 1,720 children died from abuse and neglect in 2017.

The Advocacy Network is looking for CASA volunteers, which stands for court appointed special advocates.  The volunteers are assigned to look over the best interest of the child and act as the eyes of the court system.

The program is now expanding thanks to an Illinois DCFS grant by expanding services and the program will be added in Brown, Cass and Schuyler County.

“We are going to be serving more kids. We have a lot of kids who have been abused and neglected in the court system. From the four counties that we have been serving, we have seen an increase in volunteers to serve the children,” CASA Program Director Danielle Buss said.

Officials at the Adams County State’s Attorney’s Office said volunteers are vital to moving the cases along.

“If it wasn’t for the CASA volunteers, the guardian ad litem and our assistant state’s attorney, we would not be able to adequately represent or help the child through the court system. With the assistance of the volunteer, it’s vital to the court,”  Victim/Witness Program Coordinator Terry Gibson said.

If you are interested in being a volunteer, training is next month on Tuesdays and Thursdays in November and the first Tuesday in December from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Advocacy Network for Children office on 1420 Harrison Street in Quincy.

For questions call (217) 223-2272.

Here’s some more Tri-State stats on cases involving abused and neglected children:

  • Illinois completed 74,353 reports.
  • Missouri completed 65,096 reports.
  • Iowa completed 30,853 reports.

Source link