FORT WAYNE, Ind. (ADAMS) – Children in our community are entering the child welfare system at an alarming rate. These children are victims of child abuse and neglect stemming from a myriad of causes – e.g. substance abuse, homelessness, domestic violence, and mental health concerns for both children and parents. A team of community members is dedicated to making a difference in these kids’ lives – they are Court Appointed Special Advocates.
A new class of CASA volunteers recently completed the six week/30 hour training program. These individuals have a heart for children in our community and want to make sure that abused and neglected children do not get lost in the court system. These volunteers will join a team of more than 100 advocates who provide a voice for children involved in child abuse and neglect cases by advocating for their best interests and making recommendations to the court regarding placement of children and services to assist both children and parents.
A Swearing-In Ceremony for these new volunteers will be held at the Allen County Courthouse Rotunda on Friday, August 16 at 12:00 pm. Magistrate Sherry Hartzler will preside over the ceremony. Magistrate Hartzler has served as magistrate in Allen Superior Court, Family Relations Division since 2015 and oversees the majority of cases for the court’s Family Recovery Court. Allen County CASA currently advocates for the best interests of more than 400 abused and neglected children in Allen County.