Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Allegheny County is proud to announce the election of Jarene Barnes as its new Board President. Ms. Barnes previously served as the Vice President of the CASA Board and has a long and active history with CASA both locally and at the national level. She began her tenure as CASA’s Training and Volunteer Coordinator and was a past member of the National CASA African American Advisory Committee/Tribal American Advisory Committee. Ms. Barnes is a Certified Professional Development Trainer and has served as a workshop facilitator and case manager for local social service agencies supporting Welfare to Work participants, incarcerated women and their families and clients within the juvenile justice system. Currently, she is the Placement Officer for medical programs at the Bidwell Training Academy (a subsidiary of Manchester Bidwell Corporation). At Bidwell, Jarene provides employment counseling, motivation, and support to individuals who have successfully completed training and are seeking employment in specialized medical careers.
Jarene, a lifelong champion for children, has already made a wide array of social contributions that will aid in executing CASA’s mission to better the lives of children in foster care. Her respect for the children and families involved in the child welfare system, her enthusiasm for volunteerism and child advocacy, and her empathic leadership style will help the agency advance initiatives that extends CASA’s reach throughout Allegheny County, allowing CASA to continue providing effective advocacy for children involved within the foster care system.
CASA volunteers advocate for the best interest of abused and neglected children by providing information to and working with the child welfare system ensuring that each child’s needs are being met and securing timely placement in a loving, safe and nurturing home. Every day, CASA works to expand community activism and awareness regarding dependent children and to promote a child welfare system that is child-focused in its politics and decision making.