[email protected]

[email protected]

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Dear Editor,

The East-Central Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Program recruits, screens, trains and supervises community volunteers who are appointed by circuit court judges to represent the best interest of abused and neglected children in the court system. These children are involved in a legal battle they don’t understand. They are frightened, confused and often times, very alone. By working with the judge, attorneys and social workers, CASA volunteers ensure that the children have a voice in the process. Trained CASA volunteers spend time with these children. They make sure their needs are being met and then report back to the judge with recommendations regarding the child’s future. They assure the child that they are loved and spend time listening to the child. They help put hope back in the child’s life. Currently the Department of Social Services office located in Brookings has legal and physical custody of children from Brookings, Moody, Lake, Miner and Kingsbury Counties. Each of these children is eligible to have a CASA volunteer appointed to their case if there were enough trained CASA volunteers available. You can help these children by becoming a CASA volunteer or supporting the work of the CASA volunteers by contributing to the United Way. Training for new CASA volunteers begins on November 1, 2003. Volunteers must be at least 21 years of age and able to pass a criminal history and child abuse screening. 30 hours of training on Saturday’s from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, is required. Training dates include November 1st and 15th, December 6th and 20th, and January 10th. Once training is completed, volunteers will be appointed by the courts to represent the best interests of abused and neglected children. Call 1-877-819-0196 or send an e-mail to [email protected] to enroll. More information about the training and CASA in general is available at

For the Children,

Mark Proctor – Executive Director