(Payne County, Okla.)  CASA for Kids, now serving Payne and Logan Counties, is actively recruiting volunteers for October in-service training.

CASA volunteer are appointed by judges to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in court and other settings.

No special background or education is required to become a CASA volunteer. People from all cultures and professions, and of all ethnic and educational backgrounds are encouraged to be volunteers. Once accepted into the program, CASA volunteers receive all necessary training in courtroom procedures, social services, the juvenile justice system and the special needs of abused and neglected children.

What do CASA volunteers do? Volunteers get to know the child by talking with everyone in that child’s life: parents and relatives, foster parents, teachers, medical professionals, attorneys, social workers and others. They use the information they gather to inform judges and others of what the child needs and what will be the best permanent home for them.

All CASA volunteers must complete a 30-hour pre-service training. The time commitment to a case varies depending upon the stage of the case. Volunteers sometimes say that there is a greater amount of work in the beginning of the case, when they are conducting their initial research. On average, a CASA volunteer can expect to spend approximately 10 hours a month on a case.

CASA volunteers must be at least 21 years old, and be willing to complete necessary background checks, provide references and participate in an interview. CASA volunteers must be available for court appearances, with advance notice, and be willing to commit to the CASA program until their assigned case is closed. This is typically a one year commitment.The required in-service training to become a CASA volunteer will be offered October 13 and 14 in Payne County, and October 27 and 29 in Logan County. Volunteer applications are available online at www.casaforkids.com, or can be picked up at the CASA for Kids office at 315 West 6th, Suite 205 in Stillwater. For questions or more information, call 405-624-2242.

###Payne County CASA Association, Inc dba CASA for Kids is a nonprofit organization that recruits, screens, trains and supports community volunteers who advocate for the best interest of abused and neglected children in juvenile deprived court.

For more information about CASA, contact Ruth Cavins, Executive Director, at 405-624-2242 or email [email protected]. For more information about the Payne County CASA program visit www.casaforkids.com. For more information about CASA programs in general visit the state CASA website at www.oklahomacasa.org or the national website www.nationalcasa.org.