New CASA training center expected to open in January
by By GREG KAYLOR Banner Staff Writer
Dec 02, 2012 | 945 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CASA of Bradley County has a growing case load and the board of directors made a number of decisions which will help the children’s court advocates in the future growth.

Executive Director Suzanne Wisdom said CASA’s case load has grown from 90 children in the system during the past two years, to 190 this year.

CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates.

“We don’t know if it is because of economic conditions in the community or if the courts are seeing the positive side of the service we provide,” Wisdom said.

A new training facility at Broad Street United Methodist Church is being prepared and should be ready in January for orientation and classes for new volunteer advocates.

Wisdom reported Lee University students helped complete the first phase of the renovation.

Doug Wisdom was also approved to fill the Polk County Advocate position since Polk has been added under CASA of Bradley County.

“We have 15 children from Polk County in the court system now,” Wisdom said.

The Polk County admission to CASA of Bradley County occurred earlier this year.

The board of directors also received an update on the Melisha Gibson Moonlight Walk.

According to Wisdom, $13,906 was raised for CASA. The next fundraising event is the Red Shoe Gala which will be held Feb. 9, 2013.

Last year’s gala sold out.

New officers were also approved for 2013.

Jim Metzger was chosen as board chair, Bob Hancock was picked as vice chair. Tim Digenarro retained his seat as treasurer and Meg Metzger was voted as secretary.

CASA of Bradley County, through grant funding, community and private donations and volunteerism, provides a voice for children who are caught up in abusive family relationships, according to Wisdom.

The CASA program trains volunteers from the community. After training, the volunteer is appointed by a juvenile court judge to investigate and determine the needs of abused and neglected children who are petitioned into the court system.

A CASA volunteer (advocate) makes independent recommendations to the court for services, which focus on the needs of the child and advocates for a permanent and safe home for each child within the shortest time possible.

For additional information about CASA of Bradley County, contact Wisdom at 716-1844.