Kids and Judges Day pix 8-17-18 08/20/18 11:34:57 PM
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Six Judges + Dozens of Kids + Many Caring Adults = Abracadabra! –
It’s Kids and Judges Day!
CASA for Douglas County, in partnership with the Separate Juvenile Court of Douglas County, hosted the 9th annual Kids and Judges Day on August 3. The day began with a pizza lunch outside of the City County Building, followed by a mock trial. Then the children went to courtrooms to meet and play games with their judge. The event ended with an ice cream social and therapy dogs.
“By hosting this event, we hope to demystify the foster care experience and bring the children face to face with the judge who is making all the decisions in their case. Kids get to know that their judge is not a daunting person, but an adult who listens to and cares about them,” said Kimberly Thomas, executive director of CASA.
Children filled out a “Youth Court Questionnaire,” telling the judge about them and their life. Along with their foster parents, they learned the roles of the professionals in Juvenile Court. The judges answered children’s questions and let them try on their robes and bang the gavel.
“We feel that allowing these children access to the court and direct contact with a judge under non-threatening
circumstances is very beneficial in helping to calm their fears, anxieties, and feelings of helplessness,” said Hon. Elizabeth Crnkovich, the lead judge for this event. “I love it all – the excitement, the enthusiasm. Of course, interacting with the children is always the best part.”
Therapy dogs from Love on a Leash offered kids some quiet time. Partners from PromiseShip, County Attorney’s Office, Foster Care Review Office, Boys Town, Apex, Nebraska Court Improvement Project, Project Everlast and numerous attorneys volunteered at the event.
– Photos by Lorraine Boyd