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CASA volunteer training slated to start May 3

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The Court Appointed Special Advocate’s next training class will begin on May 3.

The five-week class will meet from 6 to 9 p.m. each Tuesday and Thursday.

This 30-hour nationally certified training class will provide tools and information to prepare individuals to become CASA volunteers for children who are victims of abuse and neglect.

Once trained, an advocate is appointed by the juvenile judge to represent the best interests of the child during proceedings in family courts. There is presently a waiting list of 15 children who need an advocate to serve their best interests.

To be eligible for training, an application and interview process and background screening are required.

Those interested in becoming a volunteer in Roane County may contact Brent Sigmon at 232-2033 or 717-4186.

Potential volunteers in Loudon County may contact Cindy Lamb at 865-988-2311 or 865-244-8991; and the Morgan County contact is Sandy Weaver at 423-539-5550.

The training class is sponsored by CASA of the Ninth Judicial District, which serves family courts in Roane, Loudon and Morgan counties.

Jan Rybka, a longtime Roane County educator, will be the class facilitator.

Rybka’s career centered on teaching creative problem solving, math and science to gifted students in the Roane County school system. She also was a special education teacher and a speech therapist.

Rybka is a certified trainer/facilitator through the National CASA Train the Trainer facilitator’s training program.

More than 104 children who were victims of abuse and neglect were served last year by CASA volunteers in the Ninth Judicial District.