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Court Appointed Advocates Celebrate 20 Years in Ottumwa

By Ellis Codjoe, November 14, 2017

In 2016, over 300 children in Jefferson, Mahaska and Wapello counties were in foster care placement, and many more were at risk in their homes.

Only a small number of those children had the benefit of a Court Appointed Special Advocate.

CASA Volunteers are the child’s advocate when going through the foster care or Juvenile Court. Trained community CASA Advocates promote the best interests of abused and neglected children who find themselves, through no fault of their own, involved in the child welfare system.

Advocate’s gather information about the child, make recommendations to the court, always advocate for the best interest in the child and monitor the child’s situation until a safe, permanent home is found.

On Thursday, CASA Volunteers and community leaders will meet at the Hub – 133 West 2nd Street – at 4:30 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Court Appointed Special Advocate Program.

Ottumwa CASA Coordinator Aprile Goodman says the group will also launch a campaign to recruit 20 new volunteers. The new volunteers will advocate for a total of 40 abused and neglected children in Southeast Iowa.

Speakers at the event include The Hon. Associate Juvenile Judge William Owens, Ottumwa Mayor Tom Lazio, Ottumwa CASA Coordinator Aprile Goodman and Jim Hennessey, an administrator of the Iowa Child Advocacy Board.

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