ADVOCATES Tonya Flory, left, Guy Tauscher, Honorable Janet L. Stauffer, Owen Lamp, Karen Lamp, Krista Shilvock and Maresa Roberts on Oct. 20 — the day the new CASA volunteers were sworn in.
Columbia Gorge CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) program introduces its newest child advocates: Tonya Flory, Karen Lamp, Owen Lamp and Maresa Roberts, The Dalles residents; Krista Shilvock, White Salmon; and Guy Tauscher, Hood River.
They were sworn into duty by the Honorable Janet L. Stauffer on Oct. 20 after five weeks of training. These CASA volunteers join over 77,000 trained child advocates in 49 states 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, 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 Stauffer, a long-time child advocate before election to the bench, described a few of her experiences as a volunteer with Columbia Gorge CASA and stated that CASAs are in a unique position, as a legal party, to advocate for the best interests of children’s lives while in foster care. Judges rely on the comprehensive and informed information that is provided by CASA volunteers. CASAs have tremendous privilege and responsibility to have a positive impact in a child’s case.
Columbia Gorge CASA serves children in Hood River, Wasco and Sherman counties; 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, 2017.
If you are interested in learning more about the CASA program please contact Susan Baldwin, volunteer manager, at 541-386-3468.