CAJA of Marshall County has a new executive director.
Lesley Kubik of Douglas has been elected the executive director for the Court Appointed Juvenile Advocates of Marshall County by the organization’s board of directors.
“This is where my heart is,” Kubik said. “I love the opportunity right now.”
CAJA of Marshall County is part of a state and nationwide network of volunteer advocates, who speak for the best interest of abused and neglected children involved in the juvenile court system. Kubik and her husband, Doug, are veterans of the foster and adoptive process. She has nearly seven years experience in counseling, college administration and office and communications management. She was employed at Marshall Medical Centers as a psychiatric screener, and at
Dayspring Center for Christian Counseling.
“She was the unanimous choice of our search committee,” said Board President Leon Hicks. “Mrs. Kubik brings to the job an excellent working relationship with many of CAJA’s constituencies and a counseling and administration background that will serve her and CAJA well.
“Most importantly she has a heart for children, particularly those who have been abused or neglected. We believe under Mrs. Kubik’s leadership CAJA of Marshall County will continue to be an effective voice for these children.”
Kubik is ready to get the ball rolling. She said April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and she wants new volunteers.
“We provide screened, well-trained, court appointed advocates to children to ensure each child a safe, permanent, nurturing home,” Kubik said. “We were assigned our first case in 1997 and have advocated for hundreds of abused and neglected children since.
“We are ‘a child’s voice in court,’ and while we work alongside attorneys, social workers, foster parents and other important people in the child’s life, our focus and priority is what is best for the child.”
Juvenile Court Judges who appoint ‘CAJAs’ to cases acknowledge the benefits of the CAJA investigational report. Our volunteer advocates often discover significant information that enables the court to make the best possible decision for the children involved.”
Kubik added that training classes would begin soon for anyone willing to volunteer.
“As a non-profit and volunteer-run organization, we rely on community support and volunteers,” Kubik said. “April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month
and.we are currently recruiting new volunteers who would like to make a difference in the life of a child.
“We hope to start our next 30 hour volunteer training class in late April and welcome inquiries from anyone who may be interested in becoming a volunteer advocate.”
Kubik said that although CAJA has helped numerous children over the years, there are still plenty needing help.
“In 2015, there were over 400 Juvenile Petitions in Marshall County: CAJA represented 46 of those. children, which is wonderful, but there are many children left to serve,” she said.
This article originally appeared in the March 31st edition of The Sand Mountain Reporter