By CHRIS AGEE
The Court Appointed Special Advocate program (CASA) will begin a training program for new volunteers Monday.
According to recruiter and trainer Trisha Duke, volunteers must complete the 30-hour course established by the agency at a statewide level.
CASA exists to serve as a judge's eyes and ears outside of the courtroom in cases involving injury to a child.
A volunteer is appointed by the judge to spend time with abused or neglected children and speak for them at hearings. Volunteers appointed to a case remain with the children involved until they can be placed in a safe, permanent home.
Duke indicated the average volunteer spends between 15 and 20 hours per month on a case, noting the requirements of serving are flexible enough to suit most schedules.
Training takes place three afternoons per week with two Saturday classes.
Anyone interested in learning more about the program or applying to become a volunteer can call (940) 325-1096 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.