Mayo Clinic Health System-Northland, Barron, 2020 Community Benefit

Barron County Court Appointed Special Advocates Program

From Left, Mary Olden, Vice President; Hon. James C. Babler, Barron County Judge; Laura Sutton, Secretary
Mayo Clinic Health System-Northland donated $16,500 to the Court Appointed Special Advocates Program. 
This program enlists citizen volunteers to champion the needs of children who are abused and neglected, and are unsafe at home. These children must live temporarily under the jurisdiction of the courts and the supervision of a county child welfare system. 
This donation will support training 11 volunteers at a cost of $1,500 per volunteer. As a result, this donation will support children in the foster care system. 
The Court Appointed Special Advocates Program, which is new in western Wisconsin, is innovative in its approach. It's a creative and evidence-based model for supporting foster children and helping support their resiliency during a time of incredible strain. 
Children who have experienced abuse or neglect fare better with a Court Appointed Special Advocates Program volunteer by their side, and they are more likely to find a safe, permanent home, more likely to succeed in school, and half as likely to reenter the foster care system. Volunteers work for the judges and are the only volunteers under Wisconsin law to serve as sworn friends of the court. 
Volunteers are assigned to one child for the time that child is in the court-appointed child welfare system. Volunteers function as mentors and advocates until such time as the children they are assigned to are safe at home, or a safe and permanent home is found for them. 
Mayo Clinic Health System is proud to support mental health efforts in Barron County.