CASA Program Receives Grant Funding - Children Continue to Have a Voice in the Courts
LAWRENCE COUNTY - AUGUST 26, 2022 - Rich Kosmala Lawrence County CASA told the Lawrence County Council that he was approved for a grant to continue to support the Court Appointed Special Advocates program.
Richard Kosmala, Director Lawrence County CASA program
In March, the Lawrence County Commissioners approved the grant application in support of the vital program.
The grant is a Victim of Criminal Act grant which is a continuation of an existing grant that already exist. The amount of the grant is approximately $300,000. This grant helps with the staffing of 3 staff members for the more than 150-200 Children in Need of Services cases the county currently handles.
The grant was awarded in the amount of $277,347.
The volunteers of the program put in 30 hours of initial training. CASA volunteers will work a total of about eight to fifteen hours a month on each case.
The volunteers will meet with all parties involved in each child's case and then will report their findings back to the court.
File photo: Juvenile Referee Anah Gouty swears in CASA Volunteers back in 2020
" I really appreciate the work Rich puts into this program and has been a tremendous help in making my job easier," said Annah Gouty following the approval the Lawrence County Council Tuesday night.
The Lawrence County CASA program was started under former Lawrence County Circuit Judge Linda Chezem with volunteer Marge Lee.
Darlene Mcsoley was the first attorney for the CASA program and former teacher Icel Naugle was the first volunteer.
Richard Kosmala has been director of the program for more than two years, making sure children voices are heard in the Lawrence County Courts. There is still a need for more volunteers as more children need an advocate.