A Child's Place CASA stretching into Jefferson County

A program designed to help children across the country has finally made it into eastern Ohio, thanks to a dedicated group from West Virginia.

A Child's Place CASA was established across the river as a non-profit that would support and promote court-appointed volunteer advocacy for abused and neglected children. The services will now be provided in Jefferson County.

“The volunteers go out and gather info, write written court reports, so the judge can make the best decision possible, so we are hoping to serve children of Jefferson County, just as we have been serving kids of Brooke and Hancock county, West Virginia," CASA Director Rhonda Stubbs said.

For those who have served in Jefferson County's juvenile court system, it's a service that is sorely needed.

"They have been a blessing to the court, and they're so hopeful and the biggest thing is they care,” Jefferson County Juvenile and Probate Court Judge Joseph M. Corabi said. “They care."

Leaders out of Columbus have also taken interest in the programs expansion and may look to utilize the model in other parts of the state.

"We've had CASA programs in Ohio since 1979, but we've had a very difficult time getting them in the rural areas, so Rhonda approached us and asked if we would like to partner with her, and we talked to the judge and it made sense to him, so we got on board," said Doug Stephens, executive director of Ohio CAS/GAL Association.

For those who worked to make this happen, it's important because here in the valley, borders are just imaginary lines.

"The boundaries are rather meaningless when we work and play interchangeably,” Stubbs said. “It happens far more than I was even prepared for.”

CASA still needs volunteers in Jefferson County. If you are interested, click here.

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