Ten new court appointed special advocate volunteers for the region were sworn in during a virtual ceremony earlier this month.
Nine women and one man, representing 3 counties in southcentral Kentucky, completed their virtual training requirements in November to become CASAs.
This is the fourth new set of advocates sworn in since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. In total, 31 advocates have been sworn in since March.
“We currently have over 60 children on our waitlist needing an advocate,” CASA of South Central Kentucky Executive Director Jana Sublett said in a news release. “These 10 individuals are ready to take cases, and with our current state, our children need them now more than ever.”
Since March, CASA’s 94 active volunteers have spent over 1,078 hours visiting with and advocating for abused and neglected children.
They have been assigned to over 56 new children who were referred to the program by family courts around the region.
Jennifer Lindsey is one of the 10 new volunteers after she gave over 27 years of service within the Bowling Green City School System as a school counselor.
Lindsey first heard about CASA from other retired teachers who decided to volunteer.
“I had heard good things about CASA from other teachers and how they checked in with children and cared about their well-being,” Lindsey said. “I just wanted to still be around children while also making a difference.”
Lindsey will work as an intermediate between her assigned child and the court. Lindsey and other CASA volunteers work mostly with foster children.
Her job is to gather info on the child’s situation and present it to the judge in order for informed decisions to be made.
“I’m really just another set of eyes on a child,” Lindsey said. “I recently was just assigned my first child, and I begin working with them in January.”
According to Lindsey, her training for the position informed her that CASA volunteers spend anywhere from two to four hours a month with their child.
With the pandemic raging, Lindsey says she is looking forward to assisting children in 2021 during what is still a great time of need.
CASA of South Central Kentucky serves Barren, Hart, Metcalfe and Warren counties. Applications for the next virtual training beginning Feb. 6 in Warren County can be found at www. casaofsck.org/volunteer.