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CASA Programs of Dane and Columbia Counties Merge

 CASA of Dane & Columbia Counties

The program will be a part of the Canopy Center, an umbrella organization, where Dane County CASA has been since 2015.

(Madison, WI) (June 4, 2022) – CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) programs serving Dane and Columbia Counties have undergone a merger.

CASA programs recruit, train and support community volunteers in order to advocate for children under the protection of the courts due to abuse or neglect. CASA has established its presence in both Dane and Columbia Counties, working closely with the court systems as well as human services. With this merger,
effective June 1, redundant administrative needs will be met with greater efficiency. The programs are a part of the Canopy Center umbrella organization.

Canopy Center’s Executive Director, Meaghan Henry, has a history with the CASA program, having been a part of the Dane County CASA program since 2013. Last summer Henry made the transition to the role of executive director, and shortly after began working on this merger with the Columbia County CASA
Director, Cheri Dvorak. Dvorak will serve as the CASA Program Director overseeing both counties.

“CASA is such an important program to our juvenile system,” says Meaghan Henry. “The advocates that volunteer their time to support children and families as they navigate the system are doing incredible work. It takes a lot of effort to run a nonprofit agency, so by combining efforts we ensure the focus stays where it needs to be: on the children.”

Board members from Columbia County CASA will join the Canopy Center board to continue to oversee and support the efforts of the program.

In order to become a volunteer advocate for CASA, a community member must undergo thirty hours of training using National CASA curriculum. A class of thirteen new advocates completed training at the end of May and will be sworn in by the courts in June to serve CASA of Dane & Columbia Counties.

“This new class of advocates shows real heart for the work of supporting families in our community. We look forward to getting them assigned to work with children this summer,” says Cheri Dvorak, CASA Program Director.

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