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LAURYN  VARGAS: Latina trained by LC Juvenile Court as Advocate for Abused Children

March 3, 2014: The Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Department of the Lucas County Juvenile Court announces the graduation of Latino community member, Lauryn Vargas, as a CASA/GAL (Court Appointed Special Advocates / Guardians ad Litem).

On Thursday, February 14, Juvenile Court Judge Denise Navarre Cubbon conducted the swearing-in ceremony for the newest class of 34 Lucas County CASA/GAL trainees.

Lauryn Vargas with Judge Cubbon

CASA volunteers are ordinary citizens from all walks of life who are trained by the Juvenile Court to advocate for our community’s abused and neglected children. The CASA volunteer does an independent investigation by interviewing the child victim, parents, relatives, school officials, doctors and others involved in the child’s life that may have facts about the case or the child’s well being.  The CASA volunteer remains on the case, making recommendations to the court and advocating for the child’s best interests until a safe, permanent home is found for the child.

This training class is filled with individuals from all walks of life including a Catholic nun from the Sisters of Notre Dame, a U.T. health professor, 14 attorneys (including one who specializes in defending children who are victims of the sex trade), a business owner, a TARTA bus driver and a school bus driver, two mental health center employees, and a bank administrator, among others. The class works together to bring a variety of life experiences to further enhance the discussion.

Highlights of the training included presentations by Randall Schlievert, M.D., local pediatrician and Director of Child Maltreatment Program at Mercy Children’s Hospital on child abuse and neglect; Larry Hamme, Ph.D., Chief Clinical Officer at Unison Behavioral Health Group on cultural competence; Kristine Buffington, MSW, on interviewing children; CeCe Norwood, M.A., C.D.C.A. on domestic violence; and professionals from Lucas County Children Services on safety assessment, case plans, and the agency’s role in protecting children in our community.  The class also received training about legal report writing, advocacy skills, substance abuse, poverty and confidentiality.  The new CASA volunteers learned about local service agencies, attended a mock hearing, attended a Foster Youth Alumni Panel presentation, and toured Lucas County Children Services.


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Revised: 03/18/14 19:10:52 -0800.




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