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Nonprofit Welcomes Largest Class of Volunteers

Reporter: Stltoday

 Nonprofit Welcomes Largest Class of Volunteers

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St. Louis – SEPTEMBER 2023 – The Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of St. Louis nonprofit organization is excited to welcome 25 new community members who completed a seven-week training course to become appointed volunteer advocates on Wednesday, September 6, at 9 a.m., at the St. Louis City Family Court located at 920 N.

Vandeventer in St. Louis, Missouri. A virtual swearing-in will take place on Monday, September 11, at noon for those advocates unable to attend in-person. CASA of St. Louis, part of the National Court Appointed Special Advocate/Guardian Ad Litem program, recruits, trains and supports those interested in advocating for the best interests of children who have experienced abuse or neglect.

Their advocacy enables judges to make the most well-informed decision for each child. CASA of St. Louis assists with cases in the 21st and 22nd Circuit Courts. The newest class is the largest class to date for the program. “Welcoming 25 new CASA volunteers means we will serve 30-50 children who have been waiting for a caring adult, an adult they can trust to speak up for them in court, at school, within their foster placement and in the community,” said CASA of St.

Louis Chief Executive Officer, Jennifer Howard. Once accepted into the program, volunteers complete hours of training which prepares them for different scenarios in their new role. “This is a 30-hour training program that includes both independent study and facilitator led sessions to cover the following elements: Relevant State and Federal laws that govern child welfare practice, juvenile court process, family dynamics, communication and information gathering, cultural competency and advocacy,” said CASA of St.

Louis Chief Program Officer, Nickie Steinhoff. The next training beginning in October, is expected to be another large class of community members. “We anticipate 20 applicants in our next training session,” said Steinhoff. The 2024 training is set to begin in early January. CASA of St. Louis looks to continue increasing the number of advocates as there is an unfortunate increase with children in foster care.

“Our goal is to serve an ever-increasing number of children in foster care through effective and compassionate volunteer recruitment, training, and supervision,” Howard said. “This year we will serve at least 432 children in foster care and by June 2025 we plan to be serving at least 570 children through the advocacy of 395 CASA volunteers.” For more information about becoming a volunteer with CASA of St.

Louis, visit or call CASA of St. Louis Volunteer Recruitment & Outreach Manager, Schalene Houston-Butler at 314-282-7405. For interview requests, please contact Houston-Butler at or call 314-282-7405. ### About CASA of St. Louis The Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) of St.

Louis was founded in 1980 under the guidance of the National Council of Jewish Women and later became its own 501c (3) non-profit organization. CASA of St. Louis trains community members to become advocates for children in foster care due to abuse and neglect. The non-profit organization receives cases in the 21st and 22nd Circuit Courts, advocating for children and youth from birth to age 20. About the National Court Appointed Special Advocate/Guardian Ad Litem Association for Children The National Court Appointed Special Advocate / Guardian Ad Litem (CASA/GAL) Association for Children, together with its nearly 950 state and local member programs, supports and promotes court-appointed volunteer advocacy so every abused or neglected child in the United States can be safe, have a permanent home and have the opportunity to thrive.

The National CASA/GAL Association offers leadership and support to the network of programs and leads its continued growth. ###

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