Yellowstone CASA volunteer George Day with the “Provider of the Year” plaque and Judge Susan Watters.
Yellowstone CASA volunteer George Day with the “Provider of the Year” plaque and Judge Susan Watters.

12/19/2012—For Immediate Release

Yellowstone CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) received the Provider of the Year Award from the Yellowstone County Family Drug Treatment Court at a luncheon on Tuesday, 12/11/2012 at the MSU-B building downtown.

Yellowstone CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) is a group of trained community volunteers appointed by the court to be a voice for abused and neglected children in the Yellowstone County court system. The National CASA model is based on the commitment that every child has the right to a safe, permanent home. CASA volunteers are appointed by the courts to gather accurate and complete information about the child’s circumstances, serve as the child’s advocate in all facets of the child protection system, and make objective recommendations in the best interest of the child. Volunteers receive training and work one or two cases at a time. They make a commitment to spend 5-15 hours a month for at least 18-24 months.

CASA volunteers George Day and Diane Jung drew praise from the court for their efforts as part of the Family Drug Court team, where they dedicate numerous hours each week. The citation read in part: “As part of the team, George and Diane spend their Thursday afternoons in Judge Watters’ court room staffing all of the Family Drug Court cases, as well as partaking in the court proceedings. Outside the court room, George and Diane spend countless hours gathering information on the families, spending time with the families and children, and researching resources and opportunities for the needs of the families. George and Diane consistently go above and beyond on their assigned cases, as well as providing ideas, input, and individual perspectives on all of our families participating in Family Drug Court. The ways in which George and Diane contribute to the Family Drug Court Team are too numerous to count. The community and Yellowstone County Family Drug Treatment Court want to thank CASA for all they do for Yellowstone County!”

Also acknowledged in the award ceremony were previous drug court CASA volunteers Lynn Findon and Don Dundas (now deceased.)

“We very much appreciate this award, especially since we work so closely with the Family Drug Court,” said Yellowstone CASA Executive Director Angela Campbell. “Our volunteers are an amazing group of dedicated individuals who champion abused and neglected children and work to help families make permanency a reality for these children.”

She added that the need for CASA volunteers has increased sharply in recent months. “In the last six months, we’ve gone from 291 children eligible for a CASA volunteer almost 350,” said Campbell. “We want these kids not just to survive, but to thrive, and to help them do that we need more volunteers to meet the increased demand.”

In 2013, Yellowstone CASA will begin doubling its training sessions for new volunteers, holding four per year. The next new volunteer training will begin March 5, 2013.

Campbell stated, “Every abused child deserves an advocate. Thank you to the Yellowstone County Family Drug Court for recognizing our volunteer advocates as the 2012 Provider of the Year.”

For more information on Yellowstone CASA or to become a volunteer call (406) 259-1233.