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Mayland is new CASA in Emmet

County is ranked number one in Iowa for highest rate of reported child abuse

August 27, 2019
Amy H. Peterson - Staff Writer ( , Estherville News

Aug. 19, 2019, Irene Mayland was sworn in by the Honorable Judge Ann Gales as Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for Emmet County. Mayland joins others with the Child Advocacy Board program to serve the local children by advocating for them through the juvenile court system.

According to Melissa Loehr, coordinator, a Court Appointed Special Advocate represents the interest of a child in any judicial proceeding in which the child is involved.

Prevent Child Abuse Iowa ranked Emmet County number one for the highest rate of child abuse in 2018.

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Loehr said, "There is something that each citizen can do to help children in need. Volunteering as a CASA is an important way to help."

Mayland became a CASA to ensure vulnerable children in the court system get the resources they need and to ensure children are in safe, nurturing homes. Individuals who volunteer for the CASA program will complete a 30-hour pre-service training course before being assigned to a case. Advocates get to know the child they represent by talking with everyone in the child's life parents and relatives, foster parents, teachers, medical professionals, attorneys, social workers, and others. They use this collected information to inform judges and others of the child's needs, including what would appear to be the best permanent home for him or her. Advocates attend court hearings to also advocate on behalf of child. CASA Advocates are supported through peer coaches and the coordinator to help navigate the system. Serving as a CASA volunteer is a meaningful and rewarding way to be involved in the life of a child, advocating for a child's needs and rights in court and in the community.

Loehr said, "There are many children who still need caring advocates." Those interested in volunteering should contact the CASA program at 855-372-0358 or email Loehr at



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