ALBANY, Ga. -- When a relative or anyone abuses, neglects or abandons a child someone should be there to stand and speak for the child's favor, needs and welfare.
That is the role of a volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate in the Dougherty County Judicial Circuit. The advocates are having an orientation evening from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Feb. 23.
"We are now serving 68 children and have 29 active advocates," said Holli Reksten, CASA communications director. "We would like to have one person for each of the children."
At the orientation officials plan to go over the qualifications and responsibilities of volunteers to make certain that volunteers know what is expected of them and that there is a good fit.
Along with passing a criminal background check, volunteers should be over 21 years old, have a sincere care for the well-being of children, be able to attend all court hearings and commit to the program for at least a year.
Responsibilities include visiting the child, reviewing records related to the family, preparing written reports for court, and making the child's wishes known to the judge among other responsibilities.
"A a CASA volunteer, you will help to change a child's life for a better future by helping end the cycle of abuse and neglect," Reksten said. "It is an opportunity to learn about the juvenile court system and become actively involved in the community."
Contact the Dougherty CASA program at (229) 435-0074. The website is gacasa.org.