In a ceremony held open to the public, four Court Appointed Special Advocate trainees were sworn in to their duties by Judge Kim Hall in Starke Circuit Court. Rhonda Adcock, CASA director, said each of the trainees are volunteers with a passion to serve children who have gone through a rigorous screening and training process in order to be available to advocate for children in the court who have been abused or neglected.
The process, she said, began with a lengthy application followed by five criminal background checks and 30 hours of classroom instruction, observation and evaluation by the program staff. The program training included topics like understanding families, understanding children, history of the laws protecting children, communication skills, gathering and reporting information, and cultural competence.
Adcock said a CASA volunteer has the opportunity to make a very real and long-lasting difference immediately in the life of a child. She said each child with a CASA has a better chance of making it through the crisis in their life of seeking adoption.
LaVina Carter, Wendy Dabrowski, Kimberly Lovejoy and Wendy Medbourn pledged their CASA oath, administered by Judge Hall, swearing to advocate for the best interest of the child to ensure they help the child become safer and happier.