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CASA To Hold Volunteer Training

MAYVILLE — Court Appointed Special Advocates of Chautauqua County will hold its fall volunteer training to be held Tuesdays from Sept. 3 through Oct. 22 from 5 to 8:30 p.m.

Training will be held in the Chautauqua County Emergency Services Conference Room, 2 Academy St., Mayville. To enroll, call CASA at 753-4123.

Each year in Chautauqua County, hundreds of children are abused, neglected or abandoned by their families. Many of them are removed from their homes and placed in foster care or residential facilities. These children are brought before a Family Court Judge to decide on matters involving custody, permanency and more. CASA volunteers ensure children are not overlooked in the child legal and welfare systems. They make sure the child’s best interests are a priority and all services are being met.

In 2018, the 27 volunteers at CASA of Chautauqua County advocated for the needs of 62 abused and neglected children. Studies show foster children who have experienced a CASA volunteer are more likely to find permanency, more likely to receive the quality educational services needed and less likely to fall victim to teen pregnancy.

CASA volunteers must be 21 years of age and commit to about 8 to 10 hours a month on their advocacy. The process to become a CASA volunteer includes 30 hours of classroom instruction on topics including CASA roles and responsibilities, bonding and attachment, child abuse and neglect, cultural issues, domestic violence, communication, conflict resolution and more. Candidates must pass a criminal background clearance which includes a Criminal History Record search, State Criminal Record search and National Sex Offender Registry search. Volunteers are asked to advocate for their case until permanency occurs, which is about one year.

For more information, call Kathy Park, executive director, at 753-4123, Laurie Winkler, case advocate supervisor, at 753-4132 or visit chautauquacasa.com.

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