The county will hire a new assistant for a program that recruits and trains volunteers to represent children involved in court cases.
The county council approved a new administrative assistant position for the Court Appointed Special Advocate, or CASA, program. The salary for the position will be $24,500.
The new full-time worker will help manage the program so director Tammi Hickman can spend more time attending court hearings and trainings and working to attract new volunteers, she said.
Volunteers are assigned to children involved in local court cases, such as if they’ve been victims of abuse or are in foster care because their parent or guardian has been arrested or convicted of a crime. Those volunteers spend time with the child and represent their interests in court.
The program has 200 to 300 cases at a time and about 65 volunteers, Hickman said. The number of cases is too much for Hickman and a part-time assistant, and the county program is not meeting state or federal recommendations for caseloads, she said.