Four men among new CASAs, 80 kids still need one

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TIPPECANOE CO., Ind. (WLFI) – Some Tippecanoe County kids who need a friend in the court system have more than a dozen new people to turn to.

Judge Faith Graham swore in 15 new Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASAs, Thursday afternoon.

CASAs advocate for abused and neglected children in Tippecanoe County.

Graham said there’s a greater need than ever with 135 new cases so far this year, about 50 fewer than all of last year. Before this latest class of advocates, there was a waiting list of about 80 children.

CASA executive director Colleen Connor is excited that in this year’s CASA class of 16, which includes one person who couldn’t make it Thursday, four are men.

“We’re really inspired when we have men step up and be CASA volunteers,” said Connor. “Sometimes it is the magic ticket for young men when they have an advocate who is a male, who can step up and be a role model for them.”

Connor adds that contrary to what some people think, advocating isn’t “touchy-feely work,” but it is rewarding.

Among those sworn in Thursday was Bryce Miller.

“Children don’t get those voices. It’s great to get in there and establish a form of trust and have their best interest,” said Miller.

The next class will begin training in October and continue for six weeks.

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