CASA Volunteers

Newly sworn in volunteers (l-r): Cynthia Wheeler, Sonja Good Stefani, Elise Byers, Judge Karen Ostrye, Michael Marques, and Barry Ginter.

Columbia Gorge CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) introduces its newest child advocates: Elise Byers, Sonja Good Stefani, and Cynthia Wheeler, Hood River; Barry Ginter, The Dalles, and; Michael Marques, Husum.

After completing 32 hours of training the group was sworn into duty by the Honorable Karen Ostrye on Nov. 6, 2019. Judge Ostrye welcomed the newest advocates into duty and subsequently described many of the attributes she feels CASAs bring to the Court and pertinent information concerning a child CASAs bring to the Court’s attention. 

CASA volunteers are appointed by judges to watch over and advocate for children placed in the foster care system; we advocate for the needs and well-being of children through professionally trained and supported community volunteers, facilitating that children are heard, receive support through needed services, and reside in loving, safe, permanent homes in a timely manner. CASAs have the tremendous privilege, and responsibility, to have a positive impact in a child’s case. 

More than 428,000 children are in foster care in any given day in the United States, more than 260,000 children have a CASA advocating for their best interests, and more than 86,000 CASA volunteers help change children’s lives every year. 

Columbia Gorge CASA serves children in Hood River, Wasco and Sherman counties; advocates serve children in care so that they might have the chance to live and develop in a safe, nurturing environment.  Volunteers receive 32 hours of pre-service training using the National CASA Volunteer Training Curriculum.

New advocate training sessions will begin in January, 2020.

Persons interested in learning more about the CASA program can contact Michelle Mayfield, training coordinator, or Susan Baldwin, volunteer manager, at 541-386-3468.

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