Local Courts Combine CASA Programs

The Parke County and Vermillion County Circuit Courts are combining CASA programs in order to improve CASA services in both counties.

In cases initiated by the Department of Child Services (DCS), Courts are required to appoint Court-Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) to represent a child’s best interests in Court. CASA volunteers are trained and certified by the State of Indiana.

Throughout the years both counties have struggled to maintain adequate funding for CASA programs. Both counties have utilized the services of part-time independent contractors to serve as program directors. With the joining of programs, the new program, the Parke-Vermillion CASA program (PVCASA), will be able to fund a full-time director at an amount necessary to maintain continuity in that position.

The new PVCASA director is Katlynn Wells. She has most recently worked as the assistant director of the Clay County CASA program. Wells is a loving wife and mother of three children, ranging in ages of 5 – 11. She recently graduated from Ivy Tech Community College with a degree in Human Services. She loves working with children and making not just the children’s lives better, but everyone involved better. In her off time she enjoys spending time with her husband and children, living life to the fullest.

Judges Sam Swaim and Jill Wesch are excited about the opportunities a joint program will bring. Both counties are currently experiencing an acute need for more CASA volunteers. Parke and Vermillion County combined has a waiting list of approximately 78 children in need of CASA.

If anyone is interested in becoming a CASA volunteer, they are encouraged to email pvcasa@parkecounty-in.gov for more information on becoming a volunteer. A new training class is starting Saturday, February 8 and plenty of spots are still available. All training will be done locally.

 

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