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CASA of South Central Kentucky



CASA, or Court Appointed Special Advocates, of South Central Kentucky operates under the mission that every child has the right to a safe, permanent home as soon as possible and they don’t just say it, each staff member and volunteer lives it that mission in how they serve local children.

“We are volunteers in action,” CASA Executive Director Jana Sublett says. “We seek safety and permanency for our community’s youngest victims. CASA provides support, advocacy and intervention for abused, neglected and dependent children in South Central Kentucky’s Family Court system.”

The agency covers six counties in the area: Barren, Butler, Edmonson, Hart, Metcalf and Warren. The local chapter began in 1999 and will celebrate their 20th anniversary next year.

Currently, the organization has 67 volunteers who cover all six counties that CASA serves. Those volunteers served 184 abused and neglected children, ages birth to 21 years old, last year, but the organization is always look for more volunteers to help expand their reach and assist in more cases.

“We always need more CASAs,” Sublett says. “Volunteers must be 21 years of age and be able to pass both state and federal background checks. We encourage people with different backgrounds to get involved with our mission. Some of our best volunteers have no social service background and bring a unique perspective to the cases they carry.”

Sublett also said that there is a misconception about how much time it takes to be a CASA volunteer, with some under the impression that you have to be retired to be work as an advocate. While there is no set amount of time that one case will be and volunteers are asked to stay with the case they are assigned throughout the life of the case, which could be a year or more, the actual monthly requirements are minimal.

“The minimum requirement on time is that you have to see the children you are advocating for at least once a month and a volunteer can’t take more than two cases at a time,” Sublett says. “People with full-time employment and commitments are some of our best volunteers.”

As all CASAs are volunteers, much of CASA’s funding comes from grants, donors and events they have each year. CASA has two major events: the Superhero 5k, a national CASA initiative and Boogie Down Bourbon Street, a Mardi Gras-themed gala. Sublett says that those interested can support CASA through sponsorships, volunteering, donating of auction items and running or walking in the 5k.

Sublett first began working with CASA right after college and fell in love with the work they do.

“In the early 2000s, I worked for the state CASA office developing CASA programs throughout the Commonwealth,” Sublett says. “In that process, I went through the CASA volunteer training and served as an Advocate Volunteer from 2003 to 2010. CASA has always held a special place in my heart and I was excited to join the staff as the Executive Director in September 2015.”

Sublett oversees a staff of four people: three Advocate Coordinators, who carry out the direct service work and work directly with the Advocate Volunteers to make sure they are supported, and one Advocate Development Specialist, who recruits and retains volunteers to help serve as many children as possible in South Central Kentucky. As Executive Director, Sublett supports the staff and volunteers and functions as a liaison with the Board of Directors, as well as insuring funding is in place so that programs and services can continue.

“The thing I love about my role as Executive Director is that I know the volunteers who work with our organization are making a real difference in the lives of the children we work with,” Sublett says. “I have loved seeing the organization grow over the last few years and I look forward to more people learning about our mission and becoming a part of the great momentum we have on Team CASA.”

If you are interested in learning more about CASA or becoming a volunteer, go to www.CASAofSCK.org/volunteer.

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