FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - CASA, an organization dedicated to helping abused and neglected kids, now has 12 new court appointed advocates.
"They bring so many gifts with them, they come from all walks of life and the thing that they have in common is that they have a heart for kids," said Allen County CASA Director Nancy Springer.
Volunteers were sworn in at the Allen County Courthouse after going through extensive training.
"It involves 30 hours of initial training to become a volunteer. Part of that is in class, and part of that is online. We use a curriculum through the National CASA Association to accomplish that training," said Springer.
Springer says there are thousands of children in Allen County who are court-ordered out of their home because their parents are deemed unfit. There is a big need for volunteers.
"We have over 1,300 kids here in Allen County that are involved in abuse and neglect cases. Our program advocates for about 400 of those kids. We would love to advocate for more of those."
These volunteers say they're excited to start making a difference.
"I have a background as a teacher. I used to teach third grade and so I've always had a passion for kids and really helping them and seeing them succeed," said volunteer Ginger Myers.
"I'm looking forward to taking our first case, being able to experience that, learn what it's all about and being able to help people is the biggest thing," said volunteer Timothy McKenzie.
They say if there's anyone who is considering becoming a volunteer, now is the time to do it.
"You do put a fair amount of hours into it, but the camaraderie that you're building with the people in the class and everything make it really neat," said McKenzie.
Training classes will soon start for the next group CASA volunteers. There is still time to submit an application.
"We do look for those people who are not only willing to do that but they're willing to really listen and pay attention to what's going on in the case," said Springer.