On April 5, 2017, the Honorable Judge Craig Bunnell swore in Josie Luke, Emily Anderson and Patrice Holyoak as CASA volunteers—Court Appointed Special Advocates for abused and neglected children.
Family and friends gathered in the Seventh District Price Courthouse to watch the volunteers take an oath promising to advocate for the best interest of the child.
The newly appointed CASA volunteers join six other dedicated community members who have been trained and are advocating for foster children in the Carbon and Emery County’s juvenile court system. As officers of the court, they ensure that the children’s needs are recognized and best interests are considered both in the courtroom and in the community.
CASA volunteers are asked to meet with the child regularly and are authorized to gather information from people in the child’s life such as social workers, attorneys and teachers. They attend court hearings with the child and report their findings to the Guardian ad Litem attorney, appointed by the court to represent the best interest of the abused or neglected child.
“Our volunteers pledge to stay with each child until the case is closed, and the child is placed in a safe, permanent home,” said Kerrie Alton, director of the Seventh District CASA program.”
With more than 100 children waiting for a CASA volunteer, many more advocates are still needed. There are no prerequisites for becoming a CASA volunteer other than being at least 21 years of age, clearing an extensive background screening and successfully completing 30 hours of training.
The next advocate training session for Carbon and Emery counties begins soon. If you are interested in learning more about becoming a CASA volunteer and the rewards that come along with serving as the voice of a child, please contact Kerrie Alton at (435) 636-3431 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit www.utahcasa.org for more information.
The Seventh District CASA program is a member of the National CASA Association, a network of more than 900 CASA programs serving children in 49 states and Washington DC.