May 14, 2021 (Colorado Springs, Colo.) – Sixteen new CASA volunteers were sworn in as officers of the court by Fourth Judicial District Judge William Bain during a CASA of the Pikes Peak Region swearing-in ceremony over Zoom on Friday.
Three of the new volunteers – Joseph Harrison, Nastassia Idahosa, and Karen Ruel – are now Supervised Exchange & Parenting Time (SEPT) Program Volunteer Facilitators. These community members will now begin the important work of facilitating court-ordered supervised visits between parents and children in the CASA Family Center.
Thirteen of the new volunteers are now Court Appointed Special Advocates who will be appointed to open Dependency & Neglect cases by a judge so that they may speak up for a child and ensure the child’s best interest remains front and center during court proceedings. They will be a steady and trusted presence for abused and neglected children who must navigate the child welfare system. The new advocates are Lisandra Caraballo, James Cloud, Ronald Coca, John Crowe, Michael Farley, Jeremy Franklin, Norma Moehring, Rachel Ouellette, Angela Poppe, Patrick Quinlivan, Jewel Sandeen, Bree Tippit, and Heidi Tucholski.
The swearing-in ceremony was the final step taken by these citizens after completing a thorough training class which covered topics like trauma, resiliency, poverty, mental health, substance abuse, domestic violence, and the role of the CASA volunteer.
CASA is still in need of more volunteers in both its advocacy and SEPT programs. Anyone interested in learning more should attend a Volunteer Information Session. The next two available are on May 19 and June 16. More information, including a link to RSVP, can be found at www.casappr.org.