CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Cherokee Country is a local volunteer program that recruits and trains community volunteers to serve as advocates for abused and neglected children in juvenile deprived proceedings, an volunteers are greatly needed, a media release states.

More than 750,000 children are found to be abused or neglected in the United States each year. More than 1,520 of those children die each year due to abuse and neglect. 

CASA volunteers are independent voices for young victims ranging in age from newborn to 18. In 2014, 331 young victims of abuse and neglect were found in Adair and Cherokee County District Courts and Cherokee Nation Tribal Court. While 80 of those children were served by CASA volunteers, additional volunteers would enable more children to benefit from the life-changing results accomplished by child advocates.

CASA volunteer child advocate training will be offered to individuals age 21 or older in October. Certification will be granted upon completion of the 30-hour training course and six hours of courtroom observation. The training takes place over a period of three weeks. An in-depth interview, background checks, and reference checks must be completed prior to entering training. No special experience or education is required.

CASA volunteer advocates are men and women who work with judges alongside attorneys and social workers as appointed officers of the court; the focus of their objective appraisal is the best interest of the child.

Information: (918) 456-8788 or (866) 400-8788 toll free, to request an application and arrange for an interview. Applications for training also are available online at www.cherokeecasa.org and at the CASA office, 304 W. Keetoowah St. The deadline for applications is Sept. 18.

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