Sunday, August 23, 2009

FYI: Kids Voice of Indiana - CASA and GAL Services

Something new to me is  Kids Voice of Indiana (thanks to Children and the Law Blog for posting aobut this):

The Kids’ Voice of Indiana CASA For Kids (CFK) Program provides guardian ad litem/court appointed special advocate (GAL/CASA) services for children using trained, supervised, represented community volunteers and pro bono attorneys. The program is appointed to represent and protect the best interest of the children by judicial officers of the Marion Superior Courts, Civil Division and Probate Division and the Marion Circuit Court, Paternity Division. Judicial officers determine whether to appoint the CASA For Kids Program to (GAL/CASA) provide guardian ad litem/court appointed special advocate representation for a child in a specific case. Judicial officers may appoint Kids’ Voice on the motion of a party or on the Court’s own Motion. Appointments are usually made when children are alleged to be at risk due to abuse, neglect, or, endangerment. Staff of Kids’ Voice are responsible for assigning the case to an appropriate volunteer. Counsel for the parties and pro se parties are notified of the assigned volunteer’s name by an Oath and Acceptance which is mailed to them.


After case assignment all GAL/CASA volunteers for Kids’ Voice receive supervision and legal representation by Kids’ Voice staff or volunteer attorneys. Contact attorney Clare Deitchman at 558-2870 ext. 333 if you are interested in serving as a GAL/CASA in the Kids’ Voice CASA For Kids Program. If you are an attorney, ask Ms. Deitchman about the free Continuing Legal Education Seminar for attorneys who volunteer to serve as GALs/CASAs. If you are a community volunteer, ask Ms. Deitchman about the next community volunteer class.
I know that Madison County has had problems getting sufficient numbers of CASA workers for our CHINS (Child In Need of Services) cases and we lack Guardians ad Litems for non-CHINS cases.  We need more people volunteering.

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