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Volunteer Spotlight: Bob Harkness

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Bob Harkness when he was featured in a CASA advertising campaign

Bob Harkness has been a CASA volunteer since 2008. Prior to becoming a volunteer, Harkness worked as a 3rd grade teacher where he saw many children struggle with different issues but did not always know to what extent they struggled.  He became aware of CASA through an ad he saw in the newspaper. Harkness always wished he had become a volunteer sooner so he could spot the signs of abuse and neglect better as an educator. One of Harkness’s best skills as an advocate is his ability to find the facts out of a case. He stops at nothing to make sure his reports are completely factual in order to provide the judge with the most accurate information that he possibly can. 

One of Harkness’s favorite things about being a CASA is seeing children be in a better situation than they were prior. He explained that he is confident that at the end of most of his cases that the right things happened and the child was sent into a better situation overall. His outlook on why he has continued to be a CASA is that he believes in always standing up for the child and they always come first. Something that keeps him motivated to keep advocating is that he feels as if he continues to see the need. There are always going to be children who need advocated for and as long as that need is still there, he is going to continue to do all that he can. 

Harkness feels as if all of the prior executive directors CASA has had during his time have been excellent. “They have all been very involved in the cases,” Harkness explained. He is also grateful for the support of our advocacy specialists. All of the judges have been receptive to his recommendations and he truly feels like they take his report into account. Harkness has enjoyed keeping track of the children that have been involved in his cases and seeing how things end up for them. He has run into a few of the children from his prior cases and is grateful to see them doing better and being in a safer environment. In 2016, Harkness was awarded CASA of the year through the Indiana Retired Teachers Association. Each year, the association recognizes an outstanding IRTA member or volunteer and in 2016 they awarded Harkness the IRTA Award for the Outstanding Contribution to CASA. CASA would like to extend a tremendous thank you to Bob Harkness and all of the hard work that he dedicates to advocating for the best outcomes for the children who need it the most.

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