CASA of St. Louis (STLCASA) Welcomes 15 Child Advocates

The first graduating class since our name change from Voices for Children, CASA of St. Louis (STLCASA) is thrilled to announce the swearing-in of 15 new child advocates. On Tuesday, April 30th surrounded by their family, friends, and STLCASA Staff, 15 new volunteers became Court Appointed Special Advocates officially answering the call to speak for children in foster care.

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STLCASA Manager of Volunteer Engagement Beth Fultz opened the morning by presenting the candidates, who have each completed the mandatory 30 hours of CASA volunteer training during March and April. During her remarks, Fultz confirmed that the candidates have met the National CASA Association qualifications for volunteer advocates and were ready to be sworn in as officers of the court.

The program was then turned over to the Honorable Steven R. Ohmer, St. Louis City Family Court administrative judge. During his remarks, he provided candidates with inspirational comments and shared the impact of their impending advocacy and the value of volunteer advocates to the judicial process. Following, Judge Ohmer administered the official CASA oath during which time advocates swore to "effectively investigate, report and monitor the children I represent and make informed recommendations to the court, to aid the court in permanency planning for children based upon their best interests”. This moving moment concluded with Judge Ohmer presenting each of the newly sworn-in advocates with their training certificates thanking them for their commitment to St. Louis’ children and youth in foster care.

Following the administration of the CASA oath, Chief Executive Officer Steve Moergen officially welcomed advocates to the STLCASA family, reiterating the organization’s appreciation for their willingness to advocate. Reflecting on his days as a CASA volunteer, Steve described his decision to become a CASA as one of his life’s most rewarding experiences. Advocates were also introduced to newly installed STLCASA Board President Kimberley Vuitel who considered it an “honor to be with people who choose to invest themselves in the lives of children in need”. She concluded by offering her sincere thanks to each advocate for their willingness to take on such an important role for local children.

This exciting event closed with introductions from Director, County CASA, Volunteer and Community Engagement Cheryl D. Latham and Director, City CASA, Analysis & Outcomes Colleen Polak who both shared their gratitude and excitement to begin working with the newly sworn-in advocates.

The morning was truly a celebration of the dedication of each volunteer in completing their training and a moment for each volunteer to look toward the future and the impact they will have on children and youth in foster care during their time as a Court Appointed Special Advocates.

Today, 1,411 children in St. Louis are in need of a CASA volunteer. Individuals interested in advocacy are encouraged to contact Beth Fultz, Manager of Volunteer Engagement via email at bfultz@stlcasa.org and attend one of our upcoming NO COMMITMENT information sessions