Clark County YWCA's Heather Mason and Wendy Lenz were our special guest presenters at the Thursday, November 3, 2016 meeting of the Rotary Club of Three Creeks.
Lenz and Mason shared with us great information about an important program in our community - the CASA or Court Appointed Special Advocate program.
The Clark County CASA program is based on the belief that every child has a right to a safe, permanent, loving home. In our county, the CASA Program is administered by YWCA Clark County. The CASA volunteer is committed to providing factual information about the situation of children who are involved in the Dependency Court system because they are victims of abuse, neglect, or abandonment. CASA volunteers are appointed by the court to watch over and advocate for abused and neglected children, to make sure they don’t get lost in the overburdened legal and social service system or stay in inappropriate group or foster homes. The information and recommendations the CASA volunteer provide to the court assists the court in making crucial decisions about the child’s future. Volunteers stay with each case until it is closed and the child is placed in a safe, permanent home. For many abused children, their CASA volunteer will be the one constant adult presence in their lives.
As a CASA, you will pursue an independent investigation of the child’s situation, report your findings and recommendations to the court, monitor the progress of the case, encourage positive communication among all involved parties, and advocate for the best interest of the child. You’ll learn how to interview the child, family members, service providers and other professionals to make sure all the facts are uncovered. You’ll learn about courtroom procedures—what the court expects from you, how to clearly and effectively give testimony in court, and how to write reports to the court. [Editor's note: More information about the CASA program can be found by clicking here].
President Susanne presented part one of the history of the Rotary Wheel as her Rotary International Fact (RIF) at the meeting. Steve Pash, chair of the club's Hands On committee presented an update on the Clark County Fire & Rescue smoke detector program, and it looks as though our club will take the lead on this project, so it's time to start making decisions about how you might like to participate. President Susanne also announced that there's potential for another project with Columbia Springs Environmental Education Center, so more information will be forthcoming for that opportunity, as well.
Thank you to the 20 people who attended our club meeting, including guests Mercedes Johnston, Nayla Kassab, Rebecca Blaisdell, Assistant Governor Danette LaChapelle, and Jolene Nelson.