The Norman Transcript

Crime/Courts

December 23, 2012

CASA needs child advocates

NORMAN — Cleveland County Court Appointed Special Advocates haven’t been able to serve as many children in the child welfare system this year because of a lack of volunteers.

Kathleen Romero, executive director of Cleveland County CASA, said the program serves 30 percent to 40 percent of the children in the county’s child welfare system although hundreds of children in Norman have a need for it.

“As a community, these are the most vulnerable members, and if we take care of them as a community, the community benefits by that,” Romero said.

The next CASA training session will begin Jan. 28. Orientation will take place from 5:30 to 8:30 at the Norman Regional Education Center, 901 Porter Ave. The training sessions are a couple nights a week and there are about eight sessions.

Debrah Morris, a CASA volunteer, compared spending her time watching a movie versus spending her time supervising a visit for the child.

“Which is more rewarding?” she asked.

For Morris, spending time with a child is more rewarding.

Most of the children in the child welfare system are there because of abuse or neglect. CASA volunteers are specifically assigned as objective, independent people in the system who see that children’s needs are being addressed while they are in custody.

Morris also had a comparison for the children and their families and CASA’s involvement with them. She likened a family to a car. Sometimes, the car may run out of gas or veer off of the road. CASA is like the tow truck that helps get that car back on the road, she said.

On the other hand, sometimes that car may be totaled and a new car (or family) is needed to get a child back on the road, she said.

The statewide average for children being in the child welfare system is about 2.2 years. CASA reduces that average by nine months. There are kids that fall through the system, Romero said she likes to think of CASA as something that helps fill those cracks.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Crime/Courts
  • State files response in motion to quash

    The Cleveland County district attorney’s office filed a response Monday to a defendant’s motion to quash charges of first-degree murder, shooting with intent to kill, robbery with a weapon and conspiracy....

    April 17, 2014

  • Felonies filed

    The following people were charged with felony counts in the Cleveland County Court Clerk’s Office: · David Lesley Douglas, 25, stalking, domestic abuse assault and battery in the presence of a minor · Donald Derek ...

    April 17, 2014

  • Police log

    Police responded to the following incidents Tuesday: · 7:37 a.m. fraud, 4300 block of 66th Avenue Northeast · 8:01 a.m. harassment or threats report, 300 block of East Lindsey Street · 8:15 a.m. harassment or threats ...

    April 17, 2014

  • Police log

    Police responded to the following incidents Sunday: · 12:03 a.m. vandalism, 100 block of 12th Avenue Southeast · 6:42 a.m. burglary report, 300 block of 12th Avenue Southeast · 9:21 a.m. vandalism, 1500 block of North ...

    April 15, 2014

  • Felonies filed

    The following people were charged with felony counts in the Cleveland County Court Clerk’s Office: · Jason Ashley Shannon, 35, possession of controlled dangerous substance, unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia; driving with a ...

    April 15, 2014

  • Bail set for one more in homicide

    A hearing for the state’s motion to hold two suspects without bail in connection with the homicide of Justin Barnard, 24, of Norman, was continued Monday in Cleveland County District Court. Special Judge Steve Stice overruled the motion ...

    April 15, 2014

  • Lucky ducky

    The 200-pound plaster duck known as “Samo Ducky,” located near the Firehouse Art Center, 444 S. Flood Ave. in Lions Park and reported missing on Thursday, has been located, according to the Norman Police Department....

    April 12, 2014

  • DSE_SamoDucky ‘Samo Ducky’ taken from Firehouse Art Center in Norman

    The 200-pound plaster duck known as “Samo Ducky,” located near the Firehouse Art Center, 444 S. Flood Ave. in Lions Park, has been reported missing, FAC Executive Director Douglas Shaw Elder said....

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police academy 10 Norman Police Department cadets take oath

    Eleven police cadets stood at attention and took the oath that turned them into Norman police officers Thursday afternoon at the Norman Masonic Lodge. They had been escorted by the Oklahoma Scottish Pipes and Drums, honored by police ...

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Two charged with selling alcohol to minor

    After underage confidential informants conducted alcohol compliance checks with the ABLE Commission in January, two restaurant workers were charged Wednesday for selling alcohol to a minor....

    April 11, 2014