UC child advocacy program seeks volunteers

New training to begin Jan. 4

CASACOOKEVILLE – The Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency’s Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program is in “urgent need” of volunteers.

Conservatively, it’s estimated that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are victims of abuse, and CASA volunteers serve as a child’s independent voice in court. CASA of the Upper Cumberland has an ambitious goal, leaders say — a qualified court-appointed advocate available for every victim in the counties it serves, Putnam, Cumberland, Overton and Smith.

An upcoming training is scheduled to begin Jan. 4; CASA conducts volunteer trainings only three times each year. A candidate (21 or older) will have an interview scheduled. References will be contacted and a background check is done.

Approximately 30 hours of training will prepare trainees for advocacy. Among topics to be covered are:

  • Understanding what is, and what is not, abuse/neglect;
  • Laws regarding child abuse and neglect – past and present;
  • Investigation guidelines and reports to the court;
  • Case studies (practice applying knowledge gained throughout training)


After completing course work, the trainee is sworn-in by the juvenile court judge. The new CASA advocate has the court’s authority to speak with, and request information from, anyone who has information about the child’s circumstances. A summary of findings is submitted periodically in a report to the court.

The CASA volunteer coordinator will match the new advocate to an available case and will provide any support needed as the volunteer advocate gains confidence

For more information or to submit an application, visit the “volunteer” section of UCHRA’s website, leave a message at (931) 520-9540 or email dones@uchra.com.


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