It was a full house on Zoom for the swearing-in ceremony on Friday.

September 18, 2020 (Colorado Springs, Colo.) – Eighteen community volunteers were sworn in as officers of the court by Fourth Judicial District Court Chief Judge William Bain during a CASA of the Pikes Peak Region swearing-in ceremony over Zoom on Friday.

The swearing-in ceremony was the final step for thirteen of these community members to become Court Appointed Special Advocates (or CASAs). The new advocates took the oath before the judge following their completion of a five-week online training course which covered topics like trauma, resiliency, poverty, mental health, substance abuse, domestic violence, and the role of the CASA volunteer.

These volunteers are now ready to advocate for abused and neglected children in the Pikes Peak Region during their time in the child welfare system. Each volunteer will be assigned to an open Dependency & Neglect case so that they may speak up for and advocate for the child or children on that case.

In all, thirteen advocates and five facilitators took the oath.

Congratulations new advocates Colleen Cameron, Lee Ehrhart, Stephen Hayes, Sherry Hoffman, Shelbi Howard, Patricia Howley, Erin McCann, Michael Parrish, Deb Ruzga, Ella Taylor, Andy Velsaco, Chelsey Wright, and Jennifer Yugo.

In addition to the new advocates that were sworn in on Friday, we also congratulate five community members –  Robert Brewer, Emily Crane, Ramona Ellison, Cody Stealy, and Anna Wiesner – for being sworn in as Volunteer Facilitators in CASA’s Supervised Exchange & Parenting Time program. These volunteers will facilitate court-ordered visits for children and their parents in CASA’s Family Visitation Center.

CASA continues to work on behalf of the most vulnerable children in our community, work that has become even more important during the global health crisis. During the pandemic, CASA has seen an increase in the number of children coming into the program and more volunteers are needed in order to serve every child in need.

Community members who are interested in helping these children are encouraged to visit www.casappr.org, submit a volunteer application, and complete the CASA volunteer training which is currently being offered online. To learn more, one can also attend a Volunteer Information Session. Dates for those sessions are listed here.

Judge Bain swears in new advocates and SEPT facilitators over Zoom.

With the addition of Friday’s 13 new advocates, CASA has now sworn in 55 new advocates virtually since COVID began in Colorado.