CASA believes that every child who has experienced abuse or neglect deserves to have a dedicated advocate speaking up for the best interest of the child in court, at school and in our community. CASA volunteers advocate for the best interest of a child and make informed recommendations for the child’s physical and emotional well-being to the judge.
Who are our Advocates?
CASA volunteers give their time to help children in foster care, and come from different backgrounds, neighborhoods and communities just like the kids they serve. Volunteers are teachers, business people, retirees, stay-at-home moms, grandparents, college students; extraordinary people who want to make certain the voices of children who have experienced abuse are heard. Being a CASA does not require a specialized degree or legal experience.
They are investigators. Depending on the case, a volunteer may be asked to investigate the lifestyle and history of child whose parents or guardians seek to maintain parental rights. They will talk to the child, their siblings, teachers, friends, neighbors, close relatives and other related individuals who could shed light on a child’s home life and behavior. They will meet with CPS caseworkers and share information to aid in the development of a plan for family reunification.
They act as monitors. A CASA volunteer will monitor the progress of the court case, and how well a child is doing in their temporary placement, whether it be a foster home, group home residential treatment center, or relative placement. A CASA is notified and present for all hearings and CPS case reviews
They advocate for the child. Volunteers work to help serve the immediate needs of their children. They can help children receive tutoring when they feel they have fallen behind in their schooling. They also make sure the child attends scheduled counseling and/or medical appointments. If a child is available for adoption, a CASA volunteer will try to learn all about the prospective adoptive families to ensure safe, permanent placement.
CASA volunteers work to:
- Identify and address risks to the child’s safety and well-being,
- Identify family members and supportive people in the child’s life that CASA can work with to promote safety and well-being for the child during their time in foster care.
- Ensure appropriate physical and mental health assessments are completed and that the child’s needs are understood through a trauma informed approach, and
- Verify educational assessments are completed and educational supports are in place.