CASA Conference Set For Indy

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Nearly 600 people are expected to attend the Court Appointed Special Advocates conference this weekend in Indianapolis. The event will include a speech from a child welfare consultant and the recognition of the CASA Volunteer of the Year.

September 12, 2013

News Release

Indianapolis, Ind. -- The Indiana Supreme Court's State Office of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) is hosting its 17th annual Indiana CASA conference. The conference is an opportunity for hundreds of volunteers from across the state to receive additional training on how to be even better advocates for children in state care. The Supreme Court will also recognize volunteers for their service to the state.

The conference will be held Saturday, September 14th at the Wyndham Indianapolis West, 2544 Executive Drive, Indianapolis from 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. EDT. CASA will recognize the Volunteer of the Year, Marissa Reed, from Monroe County. Ms. Reed is a single working mother of two children who chose to volunteer to advocate for abused and neglected children. She has accepted extremely challenging cases, including a case in which she advocated for a terminally ill child. The child ultimately died and Reed worked closely with the family as difficult decisions were made regarding the child’s care and funeral. Reed was an important part of supporting the family through the challenging time. Reed was nominated by Monroe County CASA with support from Monroe Circuit Judge Stephen Galvin.

Nearly 600 Indiana CASA volunteers and staff are registered for the conference. The keynote speaker, Charlie Appelstein, is an author and child welfare consultant whose motto is, "there's no such thing as a bad kid." He provides strength-based training and consultation to groups seeking to better understand and respond to troubled children and youth. The conference will also include break-out sessions on a variety of topics including advocating for infants, understanding poverty, working with difficult parents, trauma informed care, domestic violence, and sex abuse accommodation syndrome.

The Indiana Supreme Court’s Division of State Court Administration oversees the state CASA program. Seventy-eight of Indiana’s 92 counties have CASA programs. In 2012, more than 3,400 volunteers advocated for 18,000 abused and neglected children in state care. Still, more than 2,000 children need volunteer advocates. For more information about Indiana CASA visit www.CASA.IN.gov.

Source: Indiana Supreme Court