Coffee with CASA will be held Thursday, Dec. 14, at 10 a.m. at Chapters, located at 31 North Main in downtown Miami.

MIAMI – Child Advocates of Northeast Oklahoma (CANO) is hosting an informational meeting for adults interested in learning more about how CASA volunteers make a difference in the lives of abused and neglected children.

Coffee with CASA will be held Thursday, Dec. 14, at 10 a.m. at Chapters, located at 31 North Main in downtown Miami.

Everyone is invited to enjoy a cup of coffee and a sweet treat while listening to a brief presentation on becoming a CASA Volunteer.

CASA volunteers are assigned by judges to advocate for abused and neglected children in dependency court cases. They help ensure the children do not get lost in the overburdened legal and social service systems or languish in inappropriate group or foster homes.

Once assigned to a child’s case, the CASA volunteer gathers information from those who know the child best and acts as the “eyes and ears” for the judge during the child’s time in foster care. The goal of the volunteer is to advocate for the child throughout the judicial proceedings until the case is closed and the child is placed in a safe, permanent home.

Gayle Hanson, Training Coordinator, explained, “We will discuss the roles and responsibilities of CASA volunteers, provide a general overview of the training required, and answer any questions anyone has about the CASA program.”

Hanson continued, “We also will underscore the great need for CASA volunteers by highlighting the number of children currently on the waiting list and how a CASA volunteer makes a difference in a child’s life.”

To become as a CASA Volunteer, a person must be at least 21, pass a background check, participate in a 30-hour pre-service training course, and agree to stay with a case until it is closed (18 months on average).

People from all walks of life are welcome to attend and to apply to serve as a CASA volunteer. CANO simply needs people who “have a heart” children and who have good critical thinking skills. CASA volunteers are thoroughly trained and well supported by professional staff.

For additional information about the event or CASA, contact Gayle Hanson, Training Coordinator at 785-623-6955 or 918-325-7202 or via email at gayle@cano-casa.com. More information also can be found on the CANO website: http://cano-casa.com/volunteer.

Child Advocates of Northeast Oklahoma (CANO)

Child Advocates of Northeastern Oklahoma is a CASA agency that recruits, trains, and supports community volunteers to serve abused and neglected children throughout northeastern Oklahoma. With offices in Claremore and Miami, the organization supports CASA volunteers in five counties in northeastern Oklahoma – Rogers, Mayes, Craig, Ottawa, and Delaware Counties.

CANO is a member agency of the United Way of Rogers and Mayes Counties and the Ottawa County United Way.