How We Help
Imagine you’re a child who has been removed from your home because your family has experienced crisis and requires intervention. You’ve been taken from the only people you’ve ever known and may be sent to live with strangers who you are told will care for you. You are facing a series of complex, confusing court proceedings where your future is decided by a judge based on information gathered by social workers and lawyers.
But who is looking out for you?
That’s where CASA comes in.
A volunteer advocate is appointed to advocate for a child that has experienced abuse or neglect and has the child’s best interests. The advocate become the “eyes and ears” of the court, making independent, objective recommendations to the judge based on the information they have gathered through meeting with the child and his or her parents, foster parents, social workers, school teachers, therapists and more.
Volunteer advocates are trained to help the child navigate this process efficiently so he or she may find stability in a safe, permanent, loving home as quickly as possible while enduring the least amount of trauma and upheaval.
Since 1994, CASA has recruited and trained volunteer advocates to provide a comprehensive, unbiased picture of the child’s life for a judge. Through regular meetings with the child and the important people who interact with him or her, a CASA volunteer obtains vital information to help the judge make an informed decision.
Volunteer advocates carry only one or two cases at a time, which gives them the opportunity to really get to know the children they are working with and provide them the focused attention they need and deserve. Their dedicated, focused attention helps keep the child’s case on track in an overburdened child welfare system so that a permanent resolution may be achieved swiftly.
A volunteer advocate is not a lawyer or a social worker. Rather he is a caring adult who becomes a consistent figure in the child’s life. She is someone the child can depend on to make sure their needs are not only being met, but are the top priority.