Director’s Corner

Lainie Jenkins – Director

Welcome to CASA Program for the Ogeechee Judicial Circuit!  We are glad you are visiting our site and hope you will come back often.  I am Lainie Jenkins, our program’s Executive Director and I am excited about the changes we have been making.   It’s no secret that the economy is creating great hardships on people all over the country, and our area is no different. The stress of unemployment and high gas prices, unfortunately, contribute to the greater likelihood of abuse and neglect.

We are committed to recruiting, screening and training the best advocates possible for our community’s children.  Training entails 30 hours of classroom participation, 10 hours of courtroom observation and at least 12 hours of continuing education each year. Volunteer Advocates must be 21 years old, willing to make regular visits to a child’s home or foster home, and have ongoing contact with the adults who are a part of the child’s life.  Sound like a big responsibility?  It is!   And the children in the Ogeechee Judicial Circuit deserve nothing less.  Help us make the difference.  Donate, Volunteer, Advocate.  Please contact me at joincasa@gmail.com or 912-764-4849 .  Thank you!

We just enjoyed our first Women Working Wonders event to say thank you to Wonderful Women who support CASA with an annual gift. A beautiful breakfast was held at Woodlawn Plantation with our very own intern, Shukia Jones, as our speaker.   Women Working Wonders women believe the well-being of abused and neglected children is vitally important to our future; we appreciate their support!

A CASA Story

CASA OgeecheeA CASA volunteer spent twenty-one months as an advocate for five brothers and sisters. The children ranged in ages from 2-months to 5-years. When taken from their mother, the older children had cuts and bruises, as well as signed of sexual abuse. The 2-month-old had severe dehydration, and had been pushed off a bed onto a hard cement floor.

Over the twenty-one-months there were six caseworkers, three public defenders, two judges, two public guardians, three assistant state's attorneys - and only one CASA volunteer. No one was in a better position to speak for the best interest of the children. "I would have probably been lost without the CASA," the latest social worker said. "She was critical in that case," agreed the assistant state's attorney. "She was a very important source of information for us."

After reviewing the CASA's report, which she praised as thorough and even-handed, the judge decided not to reunite the children with their mother. The report made it clear that this would have put the children back into harm's way.