CASA trains volunteers to become advocates for abused and neglected children.
Great Falls has the largest number of children per capita in foster care than any other city in Montana, according to the agency.
CASA-CAN director Lisa Goff noted, "It is not the fault of these kids. These kids are the victims. We want to prevent child abuse from happening but when it does happen, we have to be sure these kids are cared for and they get the services that they need."
CASA CAN volunteers become Officers of the Court, charged with investigating the circumstances of a case.
"To become a volunteer advocate we ask that you fill out an application. You have to provide references. We do background checks," Goff said. "We also do one on one interviews. And then the training gives everyone an opportunity to see if it is a good fit."
The agency will host an open house for anyone looking for more information about what they do.
That will be on February 1st from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm at their office in the Cascade County courthouse.
The training will start on February 26th.
For more information call them at 454-6738.
During the comprehensive initial training you'll hear from community professionals, experienced guardians ad litem and program staff to cover topics that will assist you in your advocacy work. Here's the agenda in a nutshell:
- The role of the guardian ad litem - Montana law as it pertains to youth in need of care - Culture & Diversity - Family dynamics & issues that children and families face - Understanding & communicating with children - Nuts & bolts. How to plan, record and report to the Court - CASA-CAN policies and procedures - Mock Trial will help you gain courtroom experience and a District Court Judge will swear 'graduates' in as Officers of the Court