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Columbia Gorge CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) has three new child advocates: Ashley Braniff, Bingen; Greta Root, Mt. Hood; and Brian Rohter, Hood River.


Columbia Gorge CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) has three new child advocates: Ashley Braniff, Bingen; Greta Root, Mt. Hood; and Brian Rohter, Hood River.
After completing 32 hours of training, the group was sworn into duty by the Judge John A. Olson on July 9. Olson welcomed the newest advocates into duty and subsequently described many of the attributes he feels CASAs bring to the court and the pertinent information concerning a child CASAs bring to the court’s attention. 
CASA volunteers are appointed by judges to watch over and advocate for children in the foster care system, advocating for the needs and well-being of children through professionally trained and supported community volunteers, facilitating that children are heard, receive support through needed services, and reside in loving, safe, permanent homes in a timely manner, said a CASA press release. “CASAs have the tremendous privilege, and responsibility, to have a positive impact in a child’s case,” continued the press release.
More than 400,000 children are in foster care in any given day in the United States, more than 260,000 children have a CASA advocating for their best interests, and more than 85,000 CASA volunteers help change children’s lives every year. 
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 this fall. Those interested in learning more about the CASA program please contact Michelle Mayfield, training coordinator, or Susan Baldwin, volunteer manager, at 541-386-3468, or visit www.gorgecasa.org.

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