EATON — On Tuesday, Oct. 24, the Preble County Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Program and The Honorable Jenifer K. Overmyer hosted an appreciation lunch for the Department of Job and Family Services Children Services Division.
In attendance were: Director of Job and Family Services, Rebecah Sorrell; Ongoing Supervisor, Nathan McDermitt; Intake Supervisor, Kevin Bovee; Children Services Caseworkers Michelle Clouse, Ashleigh Cravens, Kimberly Towe, Rachel Hittle, Kristine Smith and Kerstin Williams; Children Services Support Workers Judy Barth and Mashea Willis; CASA Director, Mary Warrick; CASAs Connie Harris, Joyce Tuthill, Carrie Taylor and Kathy Clapp; and Juvenile Court Deputy Clerk, Marian Schmidt.
According to Preble County CASA Director Mary Warrick, Children Services employees work tirelessly to ensure the County’s children are safe and families’ needs are being met. The Preble County CASA Program and Juvenile Court wanted to recognize them for their hard-work and dedication. The long hours attending to other families’ needs sometimes keep them from their own family’s needs. While rewarding, it can often be a thankless job.
“Today we are recognizing the Children Services case workers for their hard work and dedication they put in on a daily basis,” Warrick said. “There is a lot to the job that people don’t recognize or understand. They do an excellent job, going out to the field, making sure children are safe, and parents are getting the services they need.
“On top of that, they have lots of State requirements and reporting requirements. So, it’s not just being out in the field, it is also making sure they are complying with all of the administrative rules, regulations, and laws. There is a lot more to being a social worker than people realize.”
As for why it is important to recognize these individuals, Warrick said, “They put their heart and souls into their jobs. It is a very emotional taxing job. In addition to their normal day to day duties, it is something that can take a toll on a whole person. What they see, on a day to day basis, is not what you or I usually see.”
The Preble County CASA Program is made up of a dedicated group of volunteers who advocate for children in the Preble County Juvenile Court because the children have been removed from their parents due to abuse or neglect. As officers of the Court, the volunteers report to the Court so that the children’s needs are recognized and their best interests are considered.
Fifteen Preble County children are currently waiting for a CASA volunteer to serve as their voice in Preble County Juvenile Court proceedings. Training for new volunteers begins the end of this month. The only prerequisites for becoming a CASA volunteer are being at least 21 years of age, completing background screenings, and finishing 30 hours of training.
If you are interested in learning more about becoming a CASA volunteer, please contact Mary Warrick at 937-456-2885 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Preble County CASA Program is a member of the Ohio CASA Association, the only statewide organization supporting all local CASA programs in Ohio, and the National CASA Association, a network of more than 900 CASA programs serving children in 49 states and Washington D.C.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH