CASA volunteers are special individuals who feel it is their duty to advocate for children who are victims of abuse and neglect and their families who have become involved in the court system.
Sherry Shelton has lived in Grand County for longer than 40 years. She raised two boys here and was employed at Winter Park Resort for over 35 years. “After attending my first (NWRM CASA) fundraiser and listening to the judge who spoke, I felt that this was something that I could be involved with. I was retired and was looking for something that was community involvement and I could give back. The CASA program was something that was meaningful and I could make a difference” Shelton said.“There is an extensive education that is required prior to working with families.” CASA volunteers are required to complete 12 hours of continuing education a year, visit with the children they are assigned at least twice a month, attend court hearings, and maintain communication with professionals involved with the child’s life. Volunteers then compile this information into a report that is shared with the court. This report includes recommendations that along with information from Grand County Social Services and the Guardian ad Litem (attorney for the child) assist the County Judge in making decisions that are in the best interest of the child.
The biggest reward as a CASA volunteer is the “big smiles on those little sweet faces. The sound of laughter and seeing the children in a better place physically and emotionally once the case is over,” Shelton said.
Northwest Rocky Mountain CASA will be training new volunteers Spring of 2014. If you are interested in becoming a CASA volunteer, please contact Shanna Ganne at firstname.lastname@example.org or 970-531-6160. To learn more about Northwest Rocky Mountain CASA, visit www.nwrmcasa.org.