|Child advocate agencies to host breakfast Sept. 4|
|July 30, 2014 Jerry Purvis|
Two regional agencies that serve as advocates for children in crisis are teaming for their sixth annual Light of Hope Breakfast coming up on Thursday, Sept. 4.
“The breakfast is to raise awareness of the work we do in our community,” said Andrea Rein, director of the Scotts Bluff County office of CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocates. “Our volunteers work with child abuse and neglect cases that come into the court system.”
CASA volunteers serve as the voice of the child in the courtroom. They also serve as the eyes and ears for the judge outside of the courtroom. Working with other agencies, these volunteers can give judges a better insight as to a child’s wants and needs.
The breakfast’s other sponsor is CAPstone, which serves as a child advocacy center for the entire Panhandle region. Their mission is to reduce trauma and promote healing for child abuse victims and their families in a child-friendly environment where children can be heard and supported.
CAPstone provides trained forensics interviewers to gather information from the children and other family members. They also provide full-time child advocates to assist non-offending family members with support and services.
Rein said that after their annual breakfast, more people become aware of the services both agencies offer. Often, people will volunteer to become a CASA volunteer.
“We plan on holding another class in late fall,” Rein said. “Our volunteers have to go through 30 hours of in-class training before they can be appointed to a case.” Volunteers then receive a minimum of 12 hours of continuing education each year.
The Light of Hope Breakfast starts at 7 a.m. at the Hampton Inn and Suites in Scottsbluff. The breakfast is free, but freewill donations to the programs will be accepted.
Anyone interested in attending should RSVP to Andrea Rein at (308) 672-2922.
Scotts Bluff County CASA and CAPstone are both United Way agencies and also receive strong support from the local business community. Businesses interested in being table sponsors for the breakfast can call the same number for more information.