CASA volunteers focus on helping ensure the child doesn't get lost in the overburdened legal and social service system or languish in inappropriate group or foster homes.

MIAMI - More Court-Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers are needed to speak up for abused and neglected children in northeastern Oklahoma. Get involved in 2018!

In simple terms, CASA volunteers serve as the “voice” for children involved in juvenile dependency cases. CASA volunteers investigate the circumstances of these cases by first getting to know the child and then by visiting with everyone in that child’s life: parents and relatives, foster parents, teachers, medical professionals, attorneys, social workers and others. Once the information is gathered, they provide a report regarding the child’s needs to the judge and others involved in the case.

CASA volunteers are everyday citizens who listen first and then act. They are often the only supportive, stable person in a child’s life during a time of crisis. CASA volunteers focus on helping ensure the child doesn’t get lost in the overburdened legal and social service system or languish in inappropriate group or foster homes.

People interested in becoming a CASA volunteer can sign up for the pre-service CASA training classes that are being offered on four Saturdays in early 2018 (January 6, 20, 27 & February 3). The classes will run from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM and will be held in the office of Child Advocates of Northeast Oklahoma, a CASA agency. The office is in the St. James Court Building at 103 E. Central, Suite 500, in Miami.

You do not have to be a lawyer or a social worker to become a CASA volunteer. We welcome people from all walks of life. However, applicants do need to 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 (on average, about 18 months).

CASA volunteers are simply people who care about children, have good thinking skills, and possess a desire to improve the quality of life for abused and neglected children. CASA volunteers are thoroughly trained and well supported by professional staff who help them through each case.

Anyone wanting to learn more about CASA can attend an upcoming informational meeting, “Coffee with CASA”, which will be held on Thursday, December 14, at Chapters, 31 North Main in downtown Miami. People are invited to enjoy a sweet treat and cup of coffee while hearing how CASA volunteers speak for the best interests of abused and neglected children in the courts of northeastern Oklahoma.

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.

Sign up today and help make a difference in the life of an abused and neglected child in our community!

Child Advocates of Northeast Oklahoma (CANO)

Child Advocates of Northeastern Oklahoma is a CASA agency. 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.