Pictured are (front): Haley Kittrell (CASA Director), Stephanie Burkus, Jennifer Brown, Lisa Rizek, and Bonnie Salyer. (Back): Gary Burkett, Tracy Lynn, Allison Kara, Rhonda Kinney and the Honorable Judge Curtis D. Palmer.
These volunteers have gone through 33 hours of pre-service training that include topics such as child welfare laws and reporting, the family court process, mental health, communicating as a CASA volunteer, substance abuse, domestic violence and other topics necessary for our volunteers to advocate for children and their best interests as effectively as possible. The volunteers were able to hear from some relevant speakers including the Director of the local Department of Child Services, Michael Carroll; an institutional investigator from the Indiana Department of Child Services, Michael Kittrell; a local ongoing caseworker with the Department of Child Services, Brad Samuel; Officer Nick Laffoon from the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department, Jim Burroughs from the CASA Board of Directors and a former CASA volunteer and several current CASA volunteers: Aimee Ellinger, Geniene Collins, Stuart Krynock, and Jim Kenny.
The volunteers were also fortunate to have Officer Jason Faulstich and Amanda (Noble) Enyart to speak about methamphetamine and the effects it has on the family and children our volunteers are working with.
CASA is a national organization that exists in 78 of Indiana’s 92 counties. CASA volunteers are appointed in cases in which a child is determined to be a Child in Need of Services in family court. The volunteers meet with the child and everyone involved in the child’s life to be the “eyes and ears” of the court. The volunteer will then make recommendations in court as to the child’s best interest. CASA of Marshall County currently has approximately 60 open cases and about 40 volunteers. Volunteers are always needed! To learn more about becoming a CASA volunteer, please contact Haley Kittrell at (574) 952-1443 or (574) 935-8723. You can also email Haley at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website: www.marshallcountycasa.org.