Hoosiers who volunteer their time and energy advocating on behalf of kids in the child welfare system will have a chance next week to celebrate more than three decades of effort.
Court appointed special advocate volunteers will gather at the Indiana Statehouse for CASA Day Wednesday to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Indiana State Office of GAL/CASA.
Established in 1990, the office certifies and provides training and support to local guardian ad litem and CASA programs across the state. The programs provide trained community volunteers to speak for the best interests of abused and neglected children in court, helping to ensure that children’s needs are met while they are in foster care and that they have a safe and permanent home as quickly as possible.
Chief Justice Loretta Rush will offer remarks during the celebration, highlighting the importance of advocating for the best interest of foster children. The event will also include opportunities for interaction with lawmakers about important issues facing Hoosier children.
More than 24,300 abused and neglected children were advocated for by GAL/CASA programs in 2019, the Supreme Court said. In 2017, volunteers spoke for 30,168 children. There are currently 4,500 CASA volunteers in 69 programs serving 86 Indiana counties.
The celebration will be hosted from noon to 1 p.m. in the North Atrium on the second floor of the Indiana Statehouse.