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|CASA plans advocate training class|
CASA of Northeast Louisiana needs more than 30 local residents to serve as court-appointed advocates for local children who've been abused and neglected.
An advocate training class will begin Tuesday, April 1, at the Center for Children and Families office, located at 622 Riverside Drive in Monroe.
Each year, thousands of children in Louisiana are victims of child abuse, neglect or abandonment.
CASA of Northeast Louisiana works with these local children who have been abused or neglected. Many children who enter the state's care eventually become available for adoption. Once a child is removed from his or her home, the Office of Community Service works with the parents or guardian while the child remains in foster care. If the child's parent or guardian fails to complete OCS' requirements, the state can have that person's rights as a parent terminated in state court. The child then becomes available for adoption.
The main goal of OCS throughout the process is to reunite the child with his or her family.
In 2007, more than 1,400 valid cases of child abuse were reported in northeast Louisiana.
"Some children of this region are suffering at the hands of the very people they trust to protect them — their parents and caretakers," said Erin Stokes, the Center for Children and Families public relations coordinator. "CASA of Northeast Louisiana is continually working to make a difference in the lives of these children. By becoming an advocate with CASA, you become the voice of a child who is desperate to speak out."
Those interested in joining CASA's efforts of securing a safe and permanent home for children in northeast Louisiana can call Anna Thomas at 398-0945 for more information.
People can also visit the Web site www.cfcfnela.org.