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Volunteers sworn in as advocates for children

Five community members were sworn in as Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Guardian ad Litem (GAL) volunteers Oct. 28. Each will work as a Guardian ad Litem for abused and neglected children in the Flathead County foster care system. Flathead County District Court Judges Heidi J. Ulbricht and Robert Allison presided over the ceremony and administered the oath.

Family and friends of the volunteers were in attendance as well as CASA board members. A certificate for the 50 hours of training they completed was presented by Cindy Basnett, CASA for Kids Advocacy Program manager. The training covers topics such as the CASA/GAL role, child development, substance abuse, domestic violence, assessing family strengths, the court process, laws relating to abuse/neglect, cultural diversity, interviewing and how to write court reports. Last year 304 children were served by CASA for Kids. CASA’s goal is to have an advocate for every abused/neglected child who enters the foster care system.

The next training cycle starts in March/April 2020, however, applications are always welcomed.

More information is available at www.flatheadcasa. org or by calling 755-7208.

CASA’s mission is to “Change a child’s story. Change a child’s life.”

FIVE COMMUNITY members were sworn in as CASA/GAL volunteers Oct. 28. From left are Nikki Hallenbeck, Kelly Clark, District Judge Robert B. Allison, Mary Winter. District Judge Heidi J. Ulbricht, Kate Harris and Marli Davis. Each will work as a Guardian ad Litem (GAL) for abused and neglected children in the Flathead County foster care system. District Court Judges Ulbricht and Allison presided over the ceremony and administered the oath.

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