Western Kentucky CASA set to start in Trigg County
The umbrella of court-appointed special advocates is drawing ever closer to Trigg County. And his timing couldn’t be more necessary.
This was the message from Stephanie Moss, program director for CASA of West Kentucky, at Tuesday’s weekly Cadiz Rotary Club meeting – in what was an argument for locals to answer a call and support a voluntary organization that specifically targets the “complex trauma” and resulting litigation often related to child abuse and neglect in local homes.
At just one signature from District Judge Jamus Redd before authorizing his arrival in the county, Moss said the goal was not just to get some Trigg County residents to sign up for the 30-hour training. complex, but also to hook someone locally to join the non-profit organization’s board of directors – which meets weekly at the Child Watch office on Jefferson Street in Paducah, and includes representatives from the McCracken, Ballard, Livingston, Lyon and Caldwell counties service area.
Moss said 54 children went through the Trigg County court system in 2020 alone, and that these children – and their caregivers – need another set of eyes to help judges make thoughtful decisions and specific for families and children.
It has been widely reported across the country that COVID-19 has played a significant role in increasing domestic violence, drugs, and various criminal charges within families – and that quarantines, virtual schooling and limited public access only exacerbated family tensions, and made the work of CASA volunteers, social workers and judges all the more difficult.
Moss said it’s no different at the local level.
Redd, who was in attendance at Tuesday’s Rotary meeting, said that while the role of lawyers and social workers tends to be more confrontational with families and caregivers, the role a CASA volunteer can play. brings positive reinforcement to children – who so often in these circumstances may not have a unique adult they can trust.
Redd also said that between January and May 2021, more than 170 crimes were indicted and an indictment for methamphetamine cases was issued on average every 72 hours.
Already, Moss has said that CASA’s Western Kentucky Umbrella Extension has reached Caldwell County and that a training office will soon be opening at the Lyon County Courthouse. Volunteer hours typically average around five hours per month and can sometimes involve home visits and court attendance.
Couples, Moss said, are strongly encouraged to volunteer – in order to share workloads, create ideas, and bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to families who often have multiple siblings facing challenges. same problems.
For more information on how to become a volunteer or board member, visit childwatchcac.org or call (270) 443-1440.