CASA of Lexington adds six advocates for neglected children

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Abused and neglected children in central Kentucky have gained six new CASA volunteers who will advocate for their best interests.

The six new court-appointed special advocate (CASA) volunteers and one interpreter were sworn in by Fayette County family court Judge Traci Brislin at the end of February.

“We always have a lot of abused and neglected kiddos that we’re dealing with, but I think that it’s even worse during this pandemic. I’m sure there’s a lot of kids out there that we don’t even know about,” Brislin said during the swearing-in ceremony, which was held virtually over Zoom. “CASA makes our jobs as judges so much easier because they get us information that we need to help make the best possible decision for these kids in care.”

Brislin said she appreciates how CASA volunteers have gotten creative during the pandemic as they continue to visit with children and advocate for them.

“What you are about to embark on is very important – it’s crucial. It’s really life-changing type of stuff,” she said.

CASA of Lexington has been offering online training for new volunteers since the pandemic began, enabling those with a heart for helping children to make a difference during a very trying time. In 2020, the organization’s 235 volunteers advocated for 583 children.

Children with a CASA volunteer are more likely to receive services to help them with learning disabilities or coping with past trauma. They are also far less likely to re-enter the foster care system after finding a safe, permanent home.

“There are hundreds more children still in need of a CASA volunteer right here in Fayette, Bourbon, Woodford and Scott counties,” CASA of Lexington Executive Director Melynda Jamison said. “These new volunteers are helping fill that need. We need even more people like them.”

CASA of Lexington’s trained and supervised volunteers advocate through the family court systems in Fayette, Bourbon, Woodford and Scott counties to ensure all victims of child abuse and neglect are safe and thrive in a permanent home.

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