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Program Helps Abused & Neglected Children
JANUARY, 2016 — Livingston County’s Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program, established by LACASA Center in 2011, celebrates its five-year anniversary this month.
“The LACASA-CASA program helps children who cannot return home because it is not safe,” said Bobette Schrandt, president and CEO of LACASA.
LACASA hosted a five-year anniversary celebration on January 7, 2016, to recognize more than 40 volunteers involved in the CASA program. Event guests who were honored included Judges Miriam Cavanaugh and David Reader, as well as Renee Adorjan, director of the Livingston County Department of Health and Human Services.
“Since we established CASA, the program has helped hundreds of local children in the foster care and family court systems,” Schrandt said. “CASA volunteers are highly trained and appointed by the court to be the voice of children who cannot represent themselves.”
“We are fortunate to have an excellent leadership team in place for this program,” said Schrandt. “Attorney Sara Applegate has been with us from the start and has done an amazing job directing this program and making it stronger every year. Melanie Cattermole, the CASA supervisor, has been a wonderful addition to our team.
“LACASA spends a significant amount of time and resources training volunteers to serve as advocates,” Schrandt said. “The goal of the CASA program is to find abused and neglected children a loving and permanent home. Our volunteers work to create happy endings for these young people who have no where else to turn.”
Livingston County CASA advocates have represented children of all ages–from newborns and toddlers to teenagers and sibling groups.
Research shows that a child with a volunteer advocate is half as likely to reenter foster care and more likely to find a safe, permanent home and to succeed in school.
LACASA conducts CASA volunteer training programs twice a year. Additional advanced training workshops are held at scheduled times annually.
To learn more about LACASA’s CASA program, visit the CASA web section. Volunteer fact sheets and application forms are available online.
You also may contact Sara A. Applegate at 517-548-1350, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.