By Mark Douglass
For the Courier 

CASA Volunteers Strengthen a Growing Program in Glasgow

 


Cyndi Baillargeon and Linda Pischel were sworn in Jan. 18 by the Honorable Judge Yvonne Laird to serve as Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) in the Seventeenth Judicial District Court of Montana. Baillargeon and Pischel recently completed the FLEX Learning course, an online and classroom hybrid for CASA introduction and training.

CASAs investigate, facilitate, advocate, and monitor child abuse cases. A CASA gets to know a child one-on-one, meeting at least once a month. They also focus on one set of siblings at a time. A CASA can provide a level of information about a child’s specific situation, which is otherwise often missing in the courtroom. They also meet parents, fosters, relatives, teachers, social workers, therapists, and doctors to guarantee continuity throughout the involved parties.

Baillargeon and Pischel are currently being assigned to cases of abused children in the court in Glasgow. A new group of CASA candidates will take the first steps on their journey Wednesday, Jan. 25. If you would like to learn more about CASA or to become a volunteer you can attend the FLEX Learning course, Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. in the Valley County Courthouse Community Room. There are currently four people enrolled, but there is time for anyone to join the class. No previous training or experience is required. Interested parties should contact Mark Douglass at casa@hrdc4.org or 406-265-6743 ext. 1135.


 

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