CASA provides aid to abused, neglected children

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By Beth Braden

Executive Director David Ayers describes CASA as a “charitable extension of the court.”

In Campbell County, Court Appointed Special Advocates have worked with children since 2006.

“We provide volunteers to as many kids as we can and what they do, they advocate for these children and they try to get them the services they need,” Ayers said.

As abused or neglected children find themselves in the court system, a CASA volunteer makes sure the child gets counseling and other health benefits. The volunteer also provides the judge with written reports on findings about the child.

Ayers became the director of CASA just over a year ago. A former manager with the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, he came out of retirement to begin working at CASA.

“I figured I could do good and still work for something,” he said.

Ayers came in with the goal of increasing stability in the program.

“We don’t get frivolous. We’re not fancy, just effective, and that’s what we want to be,” he said. With funds provided strictly by grants, foundations, fundraisers and private donations, the charity can’t afford to be frivolous.

“We run a very small budget,” he said.

Currently, CASA has 22 volunteers that serve 53 children, but there are an additional 20 children without a volunteer.

“If we have one child without a volunteer, that’s too many,” Ayers said.

Ayers said if a person has a heart for children, the group could use the extra help.

“If anybody has a children first mentality and they don’t have other agendas, we can sure use them,” he said. “We definitely, definitely want volunteers.