URBANA — Champaign County CASA will conduct training classes for potential new advocates to speak up for the more than 400 abused and neglected children in the Champaign County court system.
Advocates become the eyes and ears of the court and work with the child and social service agencies to ensure that the best interests of the child are met throughout the legal process.
"The need for additional advocates for the abused and neglected children of Champaign County continues to be high. All of these children deserve to have a voice in the courtroom helping to ensure their best interests are met," said Rush Record, executive director of CASA, which stands for Court-Appointed Special Advocates.
CASA provides all the training necessary to become an advocate. No specific experience is required. However, you must be at least 21 years old.
The 30-hour training program begins on Jan. 15. Most training sessions will be held at the Mills Breast Cancer Institute in Urbana three times per week until graduation on Feb. 6.
More information about CASA can be found on its website at http://www.casa4kids.org  or by calling the CASA office at 217-384-9065.
The deadline for applications is Jan. 11 and a background check is required.
CASA was established in Champaign County in 1994 and became the guardian ad litem (legal guardian) for all abused and neglected children in 2004. CASA is a member of the National CASA Association, earning its certificate of compliance, as well as the Illinois CASA Association.