10/15/07 — Guardian ad litem program recognized

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Guardian ad litem program recognized

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on October 15, 2007 1:45 PM

The state Guardian ad Litem program has received certification by the National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association (CASA). The certification recognizes that the program meets national CASA standard for operations and management.

Colleen Kosinski, director of Wayne County's Guardian ad Litem program, said the certification is "basically a reaffirmation that we are doing a great job serving the children we are appointed to represent. Our volunteers are well trained and our attorneys are skilled at providing quality legal advocacy for the children."

The local Guardian ad Litem program currently serves more than 300 children in Wayne, Lenoir and Greene counties with 138 volunteers.

But this is still not enough volunteers to serve all the children who need to be served, Mrs. Kosinski said. "It is the community's responsibility to address child abuse and we continue to need its help," shesaid. "Our community should be proud that we have reached this high a level of standard."

The national certification will benefit the Guardian ad Litem program, according to Jane Volland, state program administrator. She hopes it will attract more volunteers to advocate for abused and neglected children everywhere.

"The national CASA quality assurance process is very rigorous and reflects our commitment to ensure every child we serve has the most powerful volunteer advocate working on their behalf," said Michael Piraino, chief executive officer of the national association. "This certification says North Carolina has demonstrated a strong capability to support the work of the program in advocating for abused and neglected children within the state."