CASA Blog

01 Dec

Man left a job that was ‘absolutely the worst’ to become an advocate for abused kids

Kip Atkinson went from “bad guy” to good guy in just a few months. The Billings man has now spent a year volunteering as a Court Appointed Special Advocate, or CASA, with abused and neglected kids. Before that, he spent five years shutting off power at homes where bills weren’t paid. “Nobody likes doing it,” Atkinson said. “It is absolutely the worst.” The work was part of Atkinson’s career as a lineman with NorthWestern Energy. It was a small, but eye-opening, part of...

02 Oct

We’re Hiring

Make a difference in the lives of abused and neglected children in our community! We are seeking an individual to join a fast-paced team engaged in training and supporting volunteers to advocate for abused and neglected children in the Yellowstone County court and foster care systems. PROGRAM COORDINATOR – engaged in the ongoing support and coaching of an assigned group of volunteer Advocates Full job description: CASA Program Coordinator Job Description 10.17 Apply: Application: Word Format Employment Application.2016 PDF Format Employment Application.2016 Program Coordinator position open until filled  **Cover...

Battleing Addiction
04 Aug

Gazette opinion: Battling addiction in Montana

For full Gazette article click here  In Montana where barely 10 percent of the people who need treatment for alcohol or other drug abuse actually get it, even the children suffer. “Substance abuse is reaching catastrophic levels in Billings,” said Jennifer Owen, Billings Head Start executive director. “Many of the three- and four-year-olds we serve in Billings deal with substance abuse in their daily lives.” The neglect and trauma they suffer keeps these children from growing and developing at a normal pace,...

01 May

Giving kids a camera – and a voice

Put a camera in a child’s hand, Shannen Keene figures, and the young photographer can tell his or her own story in a compelling, even poignant way. And if that child has experienced abuse or neglect at home, the story that’s told becomes one that might move viewers to action. That’s the thinking behind Photovoice, an exhibit on display from 6 to 8 p.m. on April 12 at Yellowstone Art Museum, 401 N. 27th St. A reception...

05 Oct

Guest opinion: CASA runs on local gifts of time, money

Billings volunteer Diane Jung has given her time over five years to advocate for abused and neglected children. Recently, she decided to do more: Jung made a $30,000 gift to launch an endowment fund for CASA of Yellowstone County. Jung began volunteering as a court-appointed special advocate with CASA of Yellowstone County in 2011. She has since served as the courtroom advocate for 13 children placed in the state foster care systems due to abuse or neglect. Diane supports the...

17 Jun

Gazette opinion: Yellowstone County benefits with public-private partnerships

“All of my colleagues appreciate this program and appreciate your support,” District Judge Greg Todd told the commission. A year ago, the commission substantially increased funding to Yellowstone CASA. This year, Executive Director Cass Staton asked for the same amount: $155,000. http://billingsgazette.com/news/opinion/editorial/gazette-opinion/gazette-opinion-yellowstone-county-benefits-with-public-private-partnerships/article_a7c30ffd-882b-5666-a713-48843b868299.html ...

24 May

CASA Volunteers Step Up to be Next to Foster Child’s Side in Court

By Dustin Klemann March 3, 2016 In 2015, 450 Yellowstone County kids were placed in foster care. That’s more than double the number in 2014. To help with the process, 16 new volunteers stepped up and are now CASA volunteers. The goal of a CASA volunteer is to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in court and other settings. Yellowstone County District Court Judge Russell Fagg confirmed the volunteers in a ceremony on Wednesday. Becoming a CASA volunteer is an investment of time, energy...

27 Jan

“Hands of Hope” program lending a helping hand to non-profits in Yellowstone County

January 5, 2016 It’s a voice for abused and neglected children, and for the second time, CASA of Yellowstone County is recognized for its efforts in the courtroom to help local children. CASA’s advocacy is done solely through the efforts of volunteers. Since 2008, Western Security Bank Hands of Hope program has been lending a helping hand to non-profits in Yellowstone County. CASA is just one of four 2015 finalists chosen by Western Security Bank for a $10,000 grant. Other finalists include Big Brothers Big...

15 Jul

CASA of Yellowstone County Names New Leader

If Angela Campbell could have selected her successor to lead CASA of Yellowstone County, that person would have been a lot like Cass Staton. Beginning Monday and after her hiring by the agency’s board of directors, Staton, 29, is set to become executive director of the local chapter of Court Appointed Special Advocates, which works with the court system to protect abused and neglected children. Campbell joked that she and her husband, T.K. Kantner, are going to “embrace our love and addiction”...