Four new CAJA Volunteers were sworn in by Marshall County District Judge Jay Mastin as Court Appointed Juvenile Advocates following completion of their 30 hour pre-service training.
New volunteers include Christina Firth from Arab, owner of Athena Capital Funding, a private equity consulting company; Kelly Klein from Douglas, mom of seven and owner of The Tin Roof of Boaz; and Gary and Suzon Williams of Arab, owners of Williams Machine Inc.
The new volunteers join our network of volunteer advocates who stand up for abused and neglected children, giving them a voice in an overburdened child welfare system that is hard-pressed to meet their individual needs, said Lesley Kubik, executive director of CAJA.
“CAJA volunteers are appointed by the court to conduct independent investigations, report their findings and serve as a ‘child’s voice in court,'” she said. Children with a CAJA volunteer find safe, permanent homes more quickly, are half as likely to re-enter the foster care system and do better in school. CAJA volunteers are making a profound difference in the lives of the children they serve.”
CAJA volunteers include everyday citizens – teachers, business people, retirees and grandparents – who are willing to participate in an in-depth training program, commit to at least one year of service, are able to pass a criminal and child protective services background check and are over the age of 21. “We are beginning a new training class soon and offer flexible training options to fit our trainees’ schedules,” Kubik said.
This article originally appeared in the June 11, 2016 edition of The Arab Tribune