Advocating for children is the focus of a Court Appointed Special Advocate, or CASA, volunteer. Jessica Winslow, who is over the program for the First District Court, says the job is rewarding as the volunteer represents those for whom home placement is being determined, often because the children are victims of abuse or neglect.
On KVNU’s Crosstalk program Monday, Winslow said among the responsibilities is offering children trust and advocacy during complex legal proceedings. She said the hope is always to keep families together.
“Every family that’s in the court system with us will have a service plan that we’re working on. So we’ll work on our service plan while the children remain in the home if we feel like that’s safe and appropriate,” Winslow explained. “It’s the best scenario where possible.
“But if we feel like it’s dangerous for the children to remain in the home at the time then they may be taken into the custody of the state, or they may be go in with a relative or foster family.”
Winslow said CASA volunteers provide the court with carefully researched background information about the child to help the court make a sound decision about the child’s future. More information about becoming a CASA volunteer is available at <a href=”http://www.UtahCASA.org” target=”_blank”>UtahCASA.org</a>.