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February 20, 2014

CASA gets five new volunteers

Gainesville — Five new CASA volunteers were sworn in on Valentine’s Day by District Judge Janelle Haverkamp to serve as advocates for abused and neglected children placed in foster care by the state.

Loretta DeBorde, Melinda Culbertson, Joann Broughton, Karen Prescher, and Bob Broun pledged before the court to be a voice for these children; to pursue the best outcome for each child. Also sworn in was Lori Jacobs, a new staff Case Manager.

When a home is determined no longer safe and a child must enter foster care, a judge may appoint a CASA or Court Appointed Special Advocate. A CASA volunteer gets to know the child, gathers information from the child’s family, teachers, doctors and anyone else involved in the child’s life and makes recommendations to the court about their investigation.

“We are so excited to welcome these new advocates to our CASA family,” said Volunteer Recruiter/Trainer, Carla Johnson. “They are amazing people dedicated to making a difference in their community and in the lives of our children. We have cases waiting for each of them and Judge Haverkamp will be signing orders on those very soon. I wish the addition of these new advocates meant we have a CASA for every child in our county who needs a CASA but that’s just not the case. Even after adding our new volunteers, we will still have 14 children waiting for a CASA to be their voice, to look out for them during this very scary and painful time in their lives.”

CASA volunteers are everyday people making an extraordinary difference in the lives of children. Because the need for CASA volunteers is so great, CASA will initiate new volunteer training again in early Spring.  For information about becoming a CASA call 940.665.2244, visit our website at www.casant.org or send your inquiry to info@casasnt.org.

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In the photo above, Dr. Matthew Bayne and his staff stand outside Family Dental Care of Gainesville.

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