The Norman Transcript


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
  • Human Rights Artist, activist-in-residence uses art to enlighten society

    La Puerta del Mileno, the Millennium Door, attempts to beckon travelers into the city walls of Ciudad Juarez, but the steel beams are abruptly interrupted as they reach for the sky by the eye of a child who sees the underlying message: the ...

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Oklahoma Water Resources Board grants Norman low-interest loan for facility upgrade

    Norman has been authorized for a $50.3 million loan from the Oklahoma Water Resources Board to fund Phase 2 of the Norman Water Reclamation Facility upgrade. “It’s the single largest loan OWRB has made,” Norman Mayor Cindy Rosenthal said. ...

    April 17, 2014

  • Oklahoma’s superintendent attracts opponents

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The field of candidates running for state school superintendent is unusually large — a sign of broad interest in what observers say is sure to be a referendum on the incumbent, Dr. Janet Barresi....

    April 17, 2014

  • Women leaders announced

    The Norman Chamber announced the nominees for the 2014 Women’s Leadership Award, which honors female leaders who actively inspire other women to achieve their full potential.  Past recipients of this honor, formerly known as the ATHENA ...

    April 17, 2014

  • Organizers confident of safe race

    BOSTON — The arrest of a man with a rice cooker in his backpack near the Boston Marathon finish line led police to step up patrols Wednesday, while organizers sought to assure the city and runners of a safe race next week....

    April 17, 2014

  • Ducks Unlimited night set

    Cleveland County’s chapter of Ducks Unlimited will host its annual “Sportsman Night” at 6 p.m. April 25 at the Optimist Club Gym in Norman....

    April 17, 2014

  • Record number of NPS students selected for Duke program

    A record number of Norman Public Schools seventh-graders have been selected for Duke University’s Talent Identification Search for State and National Recognition. Fifty-one students were identified via a competitive testing process for ...

    April 17, 2014

  • Fed says no to business help

    LEXINGTON — The federal government has turned down the state’s request for an economic injury declaration from the U.S. Small Business Administration following the Jan. 31 closure of the Lexington-Purcell bridge over the Canadian River....

    April 17, 2014

  • History group to host local book signing event

    Mae Davenport Cox will sign copies of “Red Dirt, River and Rails: Early-Day Settlers to Southern Cleveland County” from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Lexington Senior Citizen Center during ‘89er Day festivities....

    April 17, 2014

  • OU Staff Week to include daily activities

    The University of Oklahoma Norman campus Staff Week, set April 21-25, will feature many activities. The theme is “OU Staff: The Real Superheroes.” Donations of canned food for Food and Shelter may be brought to all activities except the ...

    April 17, 2014