Klinker receives Champion of Justice Award for efforts to protect Hoosier youth

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INDIANAPOLIS - State Rep. Sheila J. Klinker (D-Lafayette) has received the Indiana Judges Association’s Champion of Justice Award for her tireless advocacy on behalf of abused and neglected children.

Klinker was presented the award from the Judges Association in late September.

Officials said Klinker received the award for her outstanding contributions in protecting the rights of children and families through her work on laws affecting the Guardian Ad Litem/Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program.

Passed in 1989, the Guardian Ad Litem/CASA law requires the courts to appoint a guardian or Court Appointed Special Advocate to assist and represent children in abuse or neglect cases. CASA programs now reach 84 of Indiana’s 92 counties and have helped over 30,000 children in courts throughout Indiana.

“Receiving this award is truly an honor and I can’t thank the Indiana Judges Association enough for choosing me as the recipient of the Champion of Justice Award,” Klinker said. “I appreciate the fact that all of the judges from the Tippecanoe County area were present, including our Chief Justice Loretta Rush.

“CASA programs have helped so many children throughout Indiana and I am truly thankful that I was able to assist in creating such a monumental law that has had such a wide impact on our state,” she continued.

“This law will forever be one of my greatest accomplishments during my time in the Indiana General Assembly. I will continue to support legislation that protects our youth and to advocate for Hoosiers when they are unable to speak up for themselves,” Klinker concluded.

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