Lions hear about CASA

Published 9:47 am Thursday, September 13, 2012

THANKS FOR SPEAKING: Bainbridge Lions Club president Brenda Howell, left, presents a certificate of appreciation to Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) executive director Nan McIntosh.

Nan McIntosh, executive director of the local Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program, told the Bainbridge Lions Club Wednesday that CASA volunteers are dedicated to keeping abused and neglected children safe.

“We are volunteers appointed by juvenile court judges to advocate for the interests of abused and neglected children involved in juvenile court deprivation proceedings” she said. “Our program is central to fulfilling society’s most fundamental obligation of making sure qualified compassionate adults will fight for and protect a child’s right to be safe, be treated with dignity and respect and learn and grow in the safe embrace of a loving family.

“We bring a sense of urgency to a child’s needs both in and out of the  courtroom.”

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McIntosh pointed out that CASA volunteers serve as the “eyes and ears” of the court.

“We gather information from anyone who may be able to spread light on a child’s situation,” she said. “Our volunteers attend court proceedings and make an independent recommendation to the judge about what is in the child’s best interest, bringing a sense of urgency to the child’s needs.

“As a community partner in the child welfare system. a CASA volunteer increases a deprived child’s access to services, promotes safety, and advocates for timeliness and  permanency for children involved in juvenile court proceedings.

“The CASA volunteer remains involved until the case is permanently resolved, to keep the focus on the child.”