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Five volunteers, one staff sworn in to CASA to serve as voice for neglected, abused children during court

On any given day, about 100 children are living in foster care or another form of out-of-home placement in the counties of Aurora, Brule, Buffalo, Charles Mix, Davison, Douglas, Hanson, Hutchinson, and McCook.

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Mitchell CASA swore in one staff member, Yaquelin, and five volunteers, Kristin, Kelly, Gretchen, Amy and Shelby at the Davison County Courthouse on Thursday, May 19, 2022. Mitchell CASA declined to provide last names.
Submitted photo
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MITCHELL — Five volunteers and one staff were sworn into the Court Appointed Special Advocate program on Thursday, joining a mission to work on behalf of neglected and abused children during court proceedings.

The swearing-in ceremony, held at the Davison County Courthouse and led by First Judicial Circuit Court Judge Patrick Smith, was the final step for community members Kelly, Gretchen, Yaquelin, Amy, Shelby and Kristin after 30 hours of training covering topics like trauma, resiliency, poverty, mental health, substance abuse, domestic violence, and the role of the CASA volunteer.

As Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs), these volunteers, who were only identified by their first names, will be appointed to open abuse and neglect cases by a judge in order to speak up for abused or neglected children and ensure that each child’s best interest remains front and center during court proceedings.

"These volunteers will be a steady and trusted presence for children who must navigate the child welfare system due to no fault of their own," a press release from Mitchell CASA said.

On any given day, about 100 children are living in foster care or another form of out-of-home placement in the counties of Aurora, Brule, Buffalo, Charles Mix, Davison, Douglas, Hanson, Hutchinson, and McCook.

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"Through individualized attention, CASA volunteers advocate for safety, permanency, and well-being through independent recommendations, bringing urgency to a child’s needs in and out of a courtroom," Mitchell CASA said.

CASA is actively recruiting new volunteers to fill these roles. Anyone interested in learning more about becoming a CASA volunteer is invited to attend the organization's Cup of CASA event on Tuesday, May 31, from 10–11 a.m. at the CASA office, located at 115 E 11th Avenue in Mitchell.

The organization's next online volunteer training session begins Thursday, June 16.

MitchellCASASwearingIn
First Judicial Circuit Judge Patrick Smith swore in CASA Volunteers Kelly, Gretchen, Yaquelin, Amy, Shelby and Kristin during a ceremony at the Davison County Courthouse on Thursday, May 19, 2022. Mitchell CASA declined to provide last names for each individual.
Submitted photo

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