04/06/11 Melody Kruger, Director of Marshall County CASA was at the Commissioner’s meeting Monday to update them on her office. She said, “Here in Marshall County the need for advocating for the abused and neglected children continues. At the end of February there were 85 children right here in Marshall County who had been identified by the courts as children in need of service because they had been abused or neglected.” She continued by stating, “How many others are out there that we don’t know about.” Kruger said that so far this year 48 children in the county are receiving services by a CASA volunteer.
At the end of 2010 there were 47 trained CASA volunteers and a spring training is underway with six new volunteers. Training for a CASA volunteer take 33 hours and includes learning how the court system operates, how the Department of Child Services works, child development, family dynamics, communication skills, information gathering and preparing court reports.
CASA of Marshall County continues to be certified by both the State of Indiana and National CASA. Funding has continued to come from a county match to state funding through the Indiana Supreme Court. Kruger said, “In addition several local service organizations and philanthropic clubs have been supporters of CASA.”
A local website has been developed to reach and inform the public. You can find it at www.marshallcountycasa.org.
This year Mrs. Kruger was selected to participat in a pilot program called Fostering Futures which focused on the unique need of young people between the ages 14 and 18 who have been abused and or neglected and are in the system. She explained by saying, “These young people have a tremendous need as they have been mistreated and have lived in instability and are so often ill-prepared to suddenly live independently and figure out on their own how to do what the foster care system was set up to do for them – feed, cloth, and house them.” Kruger talked about aging out of the foster care system without a permanent home and the high risk outcome for a foster youth.
Kruger closed by stating, “I’s especially thankful for the people in Marshall County who are willing to become involved through funding, volunteering, and supporting CASA.” She also thanked the commissioners for providing CASA an office in the court house.