Malinda Shamburger- A Day At The Capitol

CASA day at the capitol is a very important day for Twin Cedars. On this day, CASA coordinators from around the state rally in Atlanta to meet with state representatives and senators from their perspective counties. Having the opportunity to meet face to face with state legislators allows coordinators to add a voice to legislation that they are attempting to get introduced or passed. Currently, CASA has legislation that has been introduced in the House. House Bill 242 is about Juvenile Justice Reform. Today, there are no consistent policies from county to county in regard to the Juvenile Code. This bill is a step in the right direction to make these necessary changes. Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Carol Hunstein in a Feb 7 judiciary address said, “We as Georgians – and as a nation – stand at a crossroads in juvenile justice history.  We have learned, just as we did with adult criminal justice, that cracking down on juvenile crime is not enough. We must also be smart about juvenile crime and take action to reduce it.”

Here is a link to learn more about House Bill 242 http://georgiavoices.org/latest-news/voices-applauds-next-step-in-juvenile-justice-reform. There are other ways that we can help. If you are not registered to vote, make sure that you do so. It is important to have representatives that do just that, represent us, so your vote counts. If you are already a registered voter find out who your state legislators are, and let them know how important this bill is, and ask them to support it. Protecting children and families should be a priority of every citizen.

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Pictured L-R, Rosalind Alston- CASA Program Coordinator, Rep. Calvin Smyre, Heather Irvin CASA Coordinator

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Malinda Shamburger – Wonder Women

The featured picture is part of the Columbus Staff at Twin Cedars. This picture was taken to help promote their upcoming Charity Race on April 13, 2013. The theme is “Be a Child’s Hero… SUPERHERO Day on Broadway.” As mentioned in my previous blog, CASA is one of the programs underway at Twin Cedars. The acronym CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates. Once a child is removed from their home, and placed in foster care, CASA representatives are the voice for those children in their upcoming court cases. In their attempt for justice, lawyers, judges, and state workers, are busy preparing their cases and their objective is to see that the perpetrators are convicted. In the midst of all that is going on, sometimes the victims, the children, are forgotten. However, this is never intentional. Often the victims are infants, or children under five, and they are not aware that they are victims, so they are unable to be a viable witness. That is where CASA steps in. CASA volunteers help the children in the following ways:

  • Gathering information about the child’s situation
  • Attending court proceedings
  • Making a recommendation to the judge to help the court make a sound decision about needed services for the child and child’s future

Federal law states that in cases of child abuse or neglect a guardian *or CASA is appointed on behalf of the child/children.

Becoming a CASA volunteer is not as difficult as one would think considering the service they provide. The qualifications are:

  • Must be 21 years old
  • Pass criminal background checks
  • Good verbal & written communication skills
  • Ability to be objective and non-judgmental
  • Available to attend all court hearings
  • Commitment to CASA program for at least 1 year or until case is resolved

CASA is a wonderful way to give back to the community!

Below is the information about the race.

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