April 26 • 06:26 AM
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Child Advocacy Organization Seeks Volunteers

Training Begins February 4th; Limited Number of Spaces Available

01/27/2012 - Are you looking for something meaningful to do in the New Year and interested in making a difference in the lives of children?  Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children, or CASA, may have the answer.

The organization, which works with abused and neglected children in foster care in Ulster County, seeks individuals interested in becoming Advocate Volunteers.  These volunteers are assigned by Family Court to work one-on-one with children in foster care.  Volunteers visit regularly with the children to whom they are assigned, advocate for the child's best interests and work with others in the child welfare system to ensure that children's needs are met.  The goal is to ensure that children have a voice, that they can heal from the trauma they have faced and, ultimately, that they have the love and guidance of a safe, permanent home. 

A mandated thirty hour training begins on Saturday, February 4th and continues through the month of February.  Richard Heyl de Ortiz, CASA's executive director, says of the training, "We are fortunate to have been chosen by the National CASA Association to be one of the programs to launch a new flex-learning model that combines classroom instruction with facilitated online learning.  We are kicking off 2012 with this new model with three trainings – one each in February, June and October."

Training, which is held at the organization's office in uptown Kingston, is limited to 12.  No special experience or prior education is required, but an application and interview must be completed before training.  For more information or to receive an application, call CASA at 339-7543 or visit www.casaulster.org.

Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children, also known as CASA, is central to fulfilling society's most fundamental obligation to our children.  Our specially qualified, compassionate volunteers guide and support abused, neglected and abandoned children through a time of great vulnerability, fighting for and protecting a child's right to be safe, to be treated with dignity and respect and to thrive in the security of a loving family.  Our goal is to ensure that children's needs are met, to promote their healing and to keep the promise of that foster care be temporary.  CASA was founded in Ulster County in 1987 and is one of over 950 CASA programs across the country.  More information about CASA can be found at www.casaulster.org.

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