Yakima Court Advisors Provide Support to Children Removed From U - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Yakima Court Advisors Provide Support to Children Removed From Unfit Parents

Posted: Updated:
YAKIMA, WA. -- When parents are unfit to care for their children, it's the kids who seem to suffer the most. The Yakima County Juvenile Court System has a program for these kids that are left behind when parents aren't around. 

A child under the age of 12 doesn't belong in a courtroom but sometimes they find themselves there. And that's when Donna Bernard steps in.
"They're survivors," Donna said. 
Donna is one of 34 unpaid volunteers who are part of the Court Administered Special Advocate program that deals with court dependent children. These are kids who have parents that are alcoholics, drug addicts or criminals, and they need help. Special advocates can do everything from home visits at foster care to attending sporting events to show support. 
"And they know that you care," Donna said. "When you care I think it's obvious that you're not there for any reason than to help."

These special advocates are so important to these kids in every aspect and sometimes they even take the stand on their behalf.

Donna taught at West Valley High school for 34 years. After retiring, she decided to dedicate her time to teaching kids in the court system. Her court kids can be more of a challenge than your average high school student, but Donna says, the reward is worth it.

"I love it," Donna said. "I just am amazed at what some of the kids are capable of doing."
And court administrators commend her work. 
"I think they save kids lives," Frank Murray, CASA Program Director said. "Every one of our volunteers has a big heart, has a mind for caring about children."
     
Donna can't help but care. 
"Would you say that you almost kind of, in a motherly guardian type of way, love the kids that you get?" NBC Right now asked.

"Oh yes," Donna said. "That's just me, that's just me."

The court system is looking to expand it's advocate program this summer. If you're interested in becoming a volunteer, contact the Yakima County Juvenile Court. 
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Regional NewsMore>>

  • NICU Flight Education Day

    NICU Flight Education Day

    Thursday, April 19 2018 9:56 PM EDT2018-04-20 01:56:54 GMT
    Thursday, April 19 2018 10:23 PM EDT2018-04-20 02:23:20 GMT

    "This helps us take our basic skills and build on that foundation. It helps us continually work on those skills, run through scenarios. Perfect practice in these scenarios, so when that patient does arrive, we are better equipped and better trained to handle these at-risk premature infants."

    >>

    "This helps us take our basic skills and build on that foundation. It helps us continually work on those skills, run through scenarios. Perfect practice in these scenarios, so when that patient does arrive, we are better equipped and better trained to handle these at-risk premature infants."

    >>
  • How to find out if your Facebook information was stolen by Cambridge Analytica

    How to find out if your Facebook information was stolen by Cambridge Analytica

    Monday, April 9 2018 11:53 AM EDT2018-04-09 15:53:40 GMT

    Facebook is notifying roughly 87 million people who had their information scooped up by political research firm Cambridge Analytica recently.  About 70 million are in the United States, while the rest are primarily in the UK, Indonesia, and the Philippines.  If your information was stolen, a notification will appear at the top of your Facebook newsfeed, along with a new button for changing your privacy settings. Even if your information wasn't stolen, it might be a good ti...

    >>

    Facebook is notifying roughly 87 million people who had their information scooped up by political research firm Cambridge Analytica recently.  About 70 million are in the United States, while the rest are primarily in the UK, Indonesia, and the Philippines.  If your information was stolen, a notification will appear at the top of your Facebook newsfeed, along with a new button for changing your privacy settings. Even if your information wasn't stolen, it might be a good ti...

    >>
  • Interior Department backs off plan to increase fees at popular parks

    Interior Department backs off plan to increase fees at popular parks

    Wednesday, April 4 2018 10:28 AM EDT2018-04-04 14:28:16 GMT
    Yosemite National Park Facebook pageYosemite National Park Facebook page
    The Interior Department is rolling back its plan to increase fees at 17 of the nation's most popular parks.  An interior official says the department is amending the plan following major backlash from the public.  The admission hike would have more than doubled fees during the peak summer season, forcing visitors to pay $70 a car. No word yet on exactly how the rates are being revised. >>
    The Interior Department is rolling back its plan to increase fees at 17 of the nation's most popular parks.  An interior official says the department is amending the plan following major backlash from the public.  The admission hike would have more than doubled fees during the peak summer season, forcing visitors to pay $70 a car. No word yet on exactly how the rates are being revised. >>