New Columbia Gorge CASA volunteers Giulia Good Stefani, Feliza Greenwald, Rob Brostoff, Steve White, Judge Olson, Amanda Cummings, Sherilyn Hutchinson and Barbara Pizzola.
As of Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Columbia Gorge CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) welcomes their newest child advocates, Rob Brostoff, Cascade Locks; Amanda Cummings, Sherilyn Hutchinson, and Barbara Pizzola, The Dalles; and Feliza Greenwald, Giulia Good Stefani, and Steve White, Hood River. They were sworn into duty by the Honorable John A. Olson on Jan. 14. These CASA volunteers join over 77,000 trained child advocates who serve more than 234,000 neglected and abused children nationwide.
CASA volunteers are appointed by judges to watch over and advocate for children in the foster care system; they make sure that children receive needed services, that timelines are met so that children don’t get lost in overburdened legal and social service systems, and that they are placed in permanent, loving homes as soon as possible.
Judge Olson described the decisions that he makes in juvenile dependency cases as the toughest; if the child left in an abusive home, they might be further harmed, but if they are removed from the home, the child may also suffer.
To make these decisions, Judge Olson relies on the comprehensive and informed information that is provided by CASA volunteers.
“The bottom line,” Judge Olson said, “is that CASAs have a tremendous privilege and responsibility to have a positive impact on a child’s case.”
Columbia Gorge CASA serves children in Hood River, Wasco and Sherman counties, and advocates serve children in care so that they might have the chance to live and develop in a safe, nurturing environment.
Volunteers receive 32 hours of pre-service training using the National CASA Volunteer Training Curriculum. New advocate training sessions will begin in February.
If you are interested in learning more about the CASA program please contact Susan Baldwin, advocate manager, at 541-386-3468.