CASA serves 130 at-risk youth in FY23

Canadian County program seeks volunteer advocates

Dana Lutz

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

A program that helps Canadian County’s most vulnerable kids served 130 abused and neglected youth in fiscal year 2023.

And the financial support of Canadian County Commissioners helps make that possible, the program’s director says.

Commissioners, at their weekly meeting July 31, voted 3-0 to approve a contract that provides $25,000 to Canadian County’s Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for FY24.

Canadian County CASA Executive Director Dana Lutz shared her appreciation and hopes that this partnership will continue for decades to come.

“Thank you so much for your continued support,” Lutz told county commissioners. “We have had this contract since 2004.

“It just means the world that the community comes together for these kids that have been removed (from their homes) because of abuse or neglect.”

Canadian County CASA’s mission is to provide community volunteers to serve as court-appointed special advocates and represent the best interests of abused and neglected youth who are wards of the court.

The program serves children and teens who find themselves in trying, difficult situations through no fault of their own.

More than 300 Canadian County abused and neglected youth are in Department of Human Services (DHS) custody – so CASA needs citizen advocates to fill that gap.


“We are always looking for more volunteers and we’re upping our recruitment; we’ve been increasing ever since I’ve been director,” said Lutz, who’s been with the program since 2014.

“If you know anybody that would want to volunteer, join our board or help us recruit, we’ll take them!”

CASA volunteers advocate for these at-risk youth, looking out for their educational, medical and emotional needs.

Anyone interested in volunteering must complete training, pass a background check and provide references.

For more information, call (405) 262-5508 or email



Among other business at their July 31st weekly meeting, Canadian County Commissioners approved:

  • Financing proposals for the Oklahoma Environmental Management Authority to acquire two new roll-off trucks, a new side load truck and a new front load truck.
  • Soliciting bids for a belly dump trailer and for electric service to a new lean-to in District 3.
  • Awarding a bid to Premier Biotech for drug test kits at the Canadian County Children’s Justice Center.
  • Designation of Tammy Howeth as requisitioning officer and Ashley Bates and Debbie Harper as receiving officers for the Canadian County Clerk’s Office.
  • A resolution for the Canadian County Sheriff’s Office to sell excess ammunition to the El Reno Police Department. The ammo is a different caliber than the sheriff’s office uses.

Meanwhile, commissioners tabled indefinitely awarding a bid for an image scanning and enhancement project at the Canadian County Clerk’s Office. Two companies submitted bids.

Canadian County Jail Administrator Kristie Carter presented the weekly county jail report showing an inmate population totaling 212, with 190 prisoners at the El Reno detention center and 22 others housed in contracted counties.

The total count is down two from last week as 42 prisoners await transfer to state Department of Corrections’ custody.