An organization of children's courtroom advocates is expanding into Fauquier County.
Court Appointed Special Advocates formally announced their presence Monday morning with a ribbon-cutting ceremony outside the Fauquier Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.
CASA's volunteers and staff act as a judge's eyes and ears outside the courtroom, said CASA CEO Charlyn Hasson-Brown. They make sure that children who have been abused, neglected or otherwise involved in legal disputes receive the care and services that they're due.
"Our advocates will do what they would do, frankly, for their own children," Hasson-Brown said.
That includes holding parents and offenders accountable with unscheduled visits to home and school.
Many times, abused children also lag behind in school and may have undiagnosed problems – everything from cognitive issues to the need for glasses, she said. CASA volunteers work to make sure those needs are met.
CASA is regulated by the Department of Criminal Justice Services. CASA screens its volunteers through the Department of Social Services, Department of Motor Vehicles, a Federal Bureau of Investigation fingerprint check and multiple references, Hasson-Brown said.
While the ribbon-cutting took place Monday, CASA's volunteers have been quietly working in Fauquier County since April.
The group's funding comes entirely from grants and donations. CASA is accepting donations to create a full-time supervisor position in Fauquier County.
For more information, visit their website at http://www.casacis.org