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Dave Dawson: Agency says urgent need for child advocacy volunteers in Morgan

Jacksonville Journal-Courier - 6/12/2024

Jun. 11—There is an urgent need for Court Appointed Special Advocates in Morgan County as nearly 40% of the children in the program are unrepresented.

Morgan County CASA, a program of Advocacy Network for Children, is representing 95 children in the court system due to abuse or neglect, according to Todd Shackelford, executive director of the network. Thirty-seven of those children are still waiting for a volunteer to be their voice.

The program trains volunteers who are then appointed to speak for abused or neglected children in the court system.

Volunteers receive 30 hours of training, which includes courtroom procedures, working with social service agencies, and the special needs of abused and neglected children. Trained volunteers will represent abused and neglected children in the Morgan County court system.

In addition to the standard in-person training, the agency offers a training option called "guided learning training." People are able to complete this training on their own time, in their own home and on their own schedule.

For information, call Erica Parrish at 217-223-2272 or visit the agency's website at advonet.org.

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