Tri States Public Radio Staff
Wed February 15, 2012
McDonough County Children Need Adult Advocates
The Court Appointed Special Advocate program in McDonough County is looking for volunteers to look out for kids as they navigate through the juvenile court system.
Clarice Hetzler is the executive director of the Advocacy Network for Children. The organization runs the CASA programs in McDonough and Adams counties.
Hetzler said the program is less than a year old in the county. She said the program needs at least a dozen volunteers to go along with the seven volunteers who serve currently.
She said, “Our only goal is to make sure that child is in a safe environment as quickly as possible. That they don't linger in a court system waiting to find out what's going to happen to them next.”
Hetzler said advocates monitor a child's progress and make sure the family is following the course laid out by the court. That might include counseling sessions or A.A. meetings. Advocates report monthly to the court.
She said volunteers have to invest 30 hours in the training program. The program requires advocates to visit with the children at least once a month.
CASA will offer an orientation session for potential volunteers February 17th at 12:15 p.m. in First Presbyterian Church in Macomb.
More information is available at www.advont.org or on the Facebook page for Advocacy Network for Children.