A Liberty Township woman has won a state award for her work in helping children.
Carol Swisshelm received the Pro Star Volunteer of the Year award for her work through the Ohio CASA –Court Appointed Special Advocates/GAL – Guardian Ad Litem at the organization’s 2013 Celebrate Kids conference.
For the past six years Swisshelm has been a volunteer through PARACHUTE: Butler County CASA. During that time she provided advocacy for 15 abused or neglected children from seven families.
As a volunteer, Swisshelm’s role is to be a voice for the children by looking out for their best interests as they progress through the juvenile court and children’s services systems.
It is a CASA volunteer who brings together all of the parties responsible for providing services to a child. They work to make sure services ordered by the court are provided and the court is updated.
Over the past 12 months, Swisshelm has spent more than 226 hours on a case involving two preschoolers. She talked with 13 professionals monthly on behalf of them, supporting the foster family, and encouraging the children’s biological mother.
“I learn much more from the children than they (learn) from me,’’ Swisshelm said. “They keep me grounded. They keep me humble.”