CASA holds training over the weekend, but still needs more volunteers

Published: Sep. 17, 2022 at 6:29 PM CDT
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QUINCY (WGEM) - With a need for volunteers to speak up for abused or neglected children in the court system, one group stepped up to train those volunteers on Friday and Saturday.

11 volunteers studied an extensive court case on Saturday for their second day of training with Court Appointed Special Advocates. It’s an organization that pairs an adult with a child to speak out for them in court over abuse or neglect.

Adams County CASA Manager Danielle Buss is teaching the course and said they are short 15 volunteers and desperately need them now more than ever.

“Eight years ago we didn’t have this many children in care,” Buss said. “We have doubled, almost tripled in the number of kids we are serving and the more kids we get, the more volunteers we need.”

Buss said part of the reason is because drug and domestic violence reports have been on a steady incline in Adams County over the last five years.

“I think people are starting to realize that they can call the hotline and there’s help,” she said. “And they’re not as scared as they potentially were before.”

Whitney Mintert was among one of the 11 volunteers that are going through the training program over the weekend. She said the experience has been eye-opening.

“You know, really heart-wrenching,” Mintert said. “You know real-life children going through this.”

Mintert, who has been a consultant for many years said she wants to bring her conflict resolution skills to the table.

“I feel very fortunate that I am not a product of what some of our children go through,” Mintert said. “So, whatever I can do to give back to our community and hopefully for a better outcome for our kids is why I’m here.”

Buss said the 11 volunteers will continue their training on Sunday, Sept. 18 at the Hope Lutheran Church in Quincy and will take on cases as soon as they are inducted later in the week.

She said they normally hold training courses twice a year, but will be adding an additional online course in January in hopes to get more volunteers.

She said to get involved, call CASA at 217-223-2272.

As of now, Adams County is short 15 volunteers.

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