L-R: Michelle Chaisson, Christine Grapusa, Lauren Bloss, Jackie Baughman, Monet Bourgeois & Latasha Robinson were sworn in on Tuesday, May 9th as Court Appointed Special Advocates or “CASA” volunteers.
CASA of Hancock County celebrated the induction of 6 new volunteers on Tuesday, May 9th at the Leo Seals Center in Waveland. Youth Court Judge Elise Deano swore in the volunteers after applauding their decision to go through the necessary screening and training to become Court Appointed Special Advocates.
CASA’s newest volunteers were administered an oath in front of their family members, several current CASA volunteers, program staff members and the entire Board of Directors. “I cannot underscore the importance of this unique volunteer experience. CASA Advocates are well-trained, committed community members who remain focused on the needs of the child and provide the court with invaluable facts about the child and family they are working with,” states Cynthia Chauvin, Executive Director.
Currently, there are over 350 children in foster care in Hancock County. CASA of Hancock County is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that utilizes trained community members to advocate for children who through no fault of their own are involved in the complex and overburdened child welfare and youth court systems. Often there is not one consistent adult who is a voice in the child’s life. A CASA volunteer provides individualized one-on-one advocacy and works with all agencies and parties involved to gather information and to provide an independent report for the Court with recommendations based solely upon the child’s best interest.
With the addition of these 6 new CASA volunteers, the program will be able to serve an additional 6-8 families who are involved in the Youth Court and CPS systems. CASA of Hancock County encourages community members to consider becoming a Court Appointed Special Advocate or a CASA. Training will begin in late August for our next group of volunteers. If you are interested in learning more about CASA the first step in to attend a one hour informational meeting. Please contact CASA at 228.344.0419 to reserve your spot at an upcoming informational meeting.