Judge Rob Philyaw and the Hamilton County Juvenile Court recognized the volunteers who work within the court with a reception and awards ceremony.
The Court’s trained and court-appointed volunteers serve in a multitude of ways, but primarily as court appointed special advocates, as auxiliary probation officers, and on Foster Care Review Boards. Each is vetted and trained before being sworn to perform the duties required to the best of their abilities.
The CASAs represent the best interests of an abused or neglected child in a Juvenile Court case and remains a constant in the child’s life during the court proceedings. APOs monitor children who have been accused of committing a delinquent (criminal) and have been released from the detention facility on in-home detention or house arrest.
The Foster Care Review Boards are seven panels that review cases of children who have been placed in foster care to ensure the safety of the child, the need for continued foster care, the compliance of the parties with the permanency plan and the extent of progress in achieving the goals of the plan. These review panels serve as one more layer of protection for the children of the county, officials said.
In addition to these professionals and volunteers, the court relies on community organizations that work with youth and children. The court enjoys a relationship with these professionals whose life’s work is also to make a difference in the lives of children.
There are currently 30 CASAs who together served 855 hours this year and worked in 61 children’s cases. There are currently 30 FCRB members who collectively worked 1,450 hours this year and reviewed 688 foster care cases. The court had 37 worksites represented this year where youth served over 5,000 hours and gained work and living skills.
Receiving awards were Valerie While, CASA of the Year; Nancy Pagano, FCRB Member of the Year; and Goodwill Industries, Inc., Community Worksite of the Year.