Hundreds Gather to Celebrate 30 Years of Child Advocacy in Indiana
Posted on March 4th, 2020
CASA Day at The Statehouse shows strong representation from 69 local CASA programs
INDIANAPOLIS – Today, CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteers and staff gathered at The Statehouse to celebrate 30 years of best interest advocacy and thank government officials and legislatures for their ongoing support. Last year, Indiana CASA programs recorded 4,500 volunteer advocates who served nearly 25,000 abused and neglected children throughout the State. Since 2016, CASA programs have provided one million hours of training to community volunteers.
“Each year, I am humbled at the sight of so many selfless individuals who volunteer their time as CASAs to advocate for the most vulnerable children in our communities,” said Cindy Booth, CEO of Child Advocates. “We are very grateful for the support CASA programs have received over the last three decades, and today we’re able to show our gratitude and share the significant impact we have made as a collective network.”
Event speakers included, Chief Justice Loretta Rush, State Director of GAL/CASA Leslie Dunn and Advocates for Children Executive Director Therese Miller. Youth Advocate Guest Speaker, 23-year-old De’Coriyanna Garrett, shared personal remarks about how working with an advocate impacted her life.
“As I became a teenager, the reality of still being in foster care made me feel sad, depressed, alone, and the belief that my voice didn’t matter because I never felt my voice was heard,” said De’Coriyanna “When Ms. Andrea came on board as my advocate those feelings started to go away. Her consistent visits let me know she cared about me and my feelings. Not only did she encourage me to stand for what I wanted, she listened to my opinions, spoke up for me when I needed her to, and made sure my voice was finally heard.”
CASA volunteers receive special training to prepare them for their important role. As a volunteer advocate, CASAs provide the court with carefully researched, factual information about the child to help the judge make an informed decision as to what is in each child’s best interest.
“The critical work of advocating for abused and neglected children and ensuring each child has a voice in court, simply cannot be done without strong CASA programs,” said Leslie Dunn, State Director of GAL/CASA. “While we know there is always more work to be done, today we can celebrate the lives that have been impacted as a direct result of having a court appointed special advocate.”
If you would like to learn more about becoming a CASA in Marion County, visit the Child Advocates website at childadvocates.net. To find a program near you, visit the State GAL/CASA website at casa.in.gov.
About Child Advocates: Child Advocates engages community volunteers and staff to protect children who are victims of child abuse. We are their voices in court, ensuring all children thrive in a safe and secure home. Learn more at childadvocates.net.
Ty Spisak, Director of Marketing & Communications
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