Local volunteer earns state honors for work advocating for children

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More than 250 Court Appointed Special Advocate staff and volunteers from around Washington were in Vancouver on Nov. 4 and 5 for the Washington State CASA Conference. Local volunteer Judy Walters was awarded the 2017 Gloria Panitch Volunteer of the Year for Washington State.

In a release, Tanisha Harris, CASA staffer, said, “Judy believes in understanding the whole child: educational, medical, therapeutic and family. Judy has a warm demeanor, is always upfront and honest with the parents, dutifully explains to service providers, teachers, foster parents, parents and, most importantly, the children that she is there to represent the best interests of the child.”

The CASA Program of YWCA Clark County serves children who come into care of the state, and with more than 650 children currently in care, the CASA program is in need of volunteers from the community to advocate for them. There is a CASA Program Orientation from 6 to 7 p.m. Monday at the YWCA, 3609 Main St., Vancouver. Anyone interested can contact Katie Benzel at 360-906-9142 or kbenzel@ywcaclarkcounty.org, or visit www.ywcaclarkcounty.org/casa.