Keene Graduates Largest Class Ever!

Pictured: John McLoughlin of Keene, Jim Murphy of Richmond, Stacia Bergeron of Gardener, MA, Kelly Pikus of Hanover, Lisa Whitcomb of Keene, Douglas Waitt of New Ipswhich, Antoinetter Egger of Hanover, Allen Ansevin of Keene, Jocelynn Goldblatt of Keene, Tina Ashton of Walpole, Susan Sanders of Richmond, Carolyn Noah of Swanzey, Margaret Brodhead of Troy, Kathleen Arnold of Surry, Program Manager Heather Zellers, and Jackie Kensen of Walpole.

With an increased need in the Mondanock Region, recruitment efforts came out in full force for CASA of New Hampshire’s September volunteer training in Keene. 15 advocates and 1 new staff member successfully completed their 40 hours for the largest training in program history. Last year in Cheshire county, CASA was able to represent 50% of child abuse and neglect cases. These 15 new advocates will soon be making an incredible impact on their local community by becoming the voice for a victimized child in need of a caring, compassionate adult.

Throughout 5 classes these individuals learned about their role in the court room, how to be a successful advocate for an abused or neglected NH child, and all the small details in-between. They practiced court report writing, speaking clearly and concisely in front of an audience, and showing compassion to a child who has experienced very turbulent times. They learned that while their time as a CASA advocate may not always be easy, they will be making an impact on their community for years to come by providing a child with a lifeline to success. CASA volunteers are often seen as the only constant in a victimized child’s life. With monthly visits, follow up calls to important adults in the child’s life, and attendance at all court hearings, the CASA volunteer is truly able to speak on behalf of the child’s best interest. Judges often coin CASA’s role as “crucial” to their rulings in abuse and neglect cases.

CASA volunteers do not have any special degrees or experiences, they are simply ordinary citizens doing extraordinary work for children in need. Over the past year CASA of New Hampshire has seen a serious influx in cases due to the opioid epidemic. Children are suffering through unimaginable circumstances due to their parents substance abuse. CASA volunteers are here for those children. To learn more about becoming a volunteer, click here.

The final activity to conclude training is to write a positive note you want your future CASA kid to know. Here are the responses from these advocates: