Court Appointed Special Advocates seek volunteers

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month.

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children of Douglas County offers a free seven-week volunteer training for those interested in acting as a voice for children moving through the local court system.

A national organization, the CASA/ Guardians ad Litem Association mission “supports and promotes court-appointed volunteer advocacy so every child who has experienced abuse or neglect can be safe, have a permanent home, and the opportunity to thrive,” (

CASA volunteers are appointed by a judge. Their responsibilities include reviewing records and other pertinent information; interviewing a child’s parents and family, teachers, and neighbors; and communicating their findings to the court. They must have “the time, heart and commitment to listen to a child, investigate the situation and then report back to the Judge regarding the best interests of the child,” (

Volunteers must be over age 21, complete the initial required training, provide three non-family references, participate in a screening interview, and pass a background check. Once sworn in, CASAs are expected to attend court hearings, meet regularly with the child and their family, and compose reports.

Local CASA Administrator Leanne Wagoner expressed her appreciation for the volunteers and the vital role they play in supporting children.

“They really are the backbone of [the CASA] program,” she said. “Douglas County always steps up for so many things, and we couldn’t do what we do without our amazing community.”

The next training begins January 5 from 9 am - 12 Noon at the Partnership Douglas County office, 1625 Hwy 88 Suite 104 inn Minden. Sessions are held each Thursday through February 16, and pre-registration is required.

Those interested in training can contact Wagoner via email at or by phone at 775-782-6247.

A poem to welcome the new year

William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878) was an American journalist, editor, and romantic poet who often drew parallels between nature and truth in his writings.

Many things evolve over the course of a year, and it is good to pause and consider them. In recognition of this year coming to a close and in anticipation of bright and hope-filled 2023, please enjoy Bryant’s poem titled, “A Song for New Year’s Eve.”

Stay yet, my friends, a moment stay—

Stay till the good old year,

So long companion of our way,

Shakes hands, and leaves us here.

Oh stay, oh stay,

One little hour, and then away.

The year, whose hopes were high and strong,

Has now no hopes to wake;

Yet one hour more of jest and song

For his familiar sake.

Oh stay, oh stay,

One mirthful hour, and then away.

The kindly year, his liberal hands

Have lavished all his store.

And shall we turn from where he stands,

Because he gives no more?

Oh stay, oh stay,

One grateful hour, and then away.

Days brightly came and calmly went,

While yet he was our guest;

How cheerfully the week was spent!

How sweet the seventh day’s rest!

Oh stay, oh stay,

One golden hour, and then away.

Dear friends were with us, some who sleep

Beneath the coffin-lid:

What pleasant memories we keep

Of all they said and did!

Oh stay, oh stay,

One tender hour, and then away.

Even while we sing, he smiles his last,

And leaves our sphere behind.

The good old year is with the past;

Oh be the new as kind!

Oh stay, oh stay,

One parting strain, and then away.

This poem is in the public domain.

Amy Roby can be reached at


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