What is CASA?

CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocate. CASAs are objective, community volunteers who are not part of the child welfare system and focus their efforts solely on gathering information and making recommendations regarding children in abuse, neglect or dependency cases. These are children who have fallen as victims and found themselves in the court system due to no fault of their own. Volunteers are carefully screened and are very well trained; they receive a minimum 30 hours of initial training and 12 hours of ongoing training each year. When appointed by the judge, CASAs research the case, review documents, interview people and make a report to the court regarding what is in the “best interest” of abused and / or neglected children in terms of services, placement, visitation, reunification and permanency.

CASA Changes Lives

A child with a CASA will, when compared with a child in a like circumstance without a CASA:

  1. Spend significantly less time in out of home care
  2. Will have fewer disruptions in placement
  3. Will have overall fewer number of placements
  4. Will receive increased services as will their parents

This indicates that they will, unlike many children in foster care, stay in the same school thus maintaining the same support system, the same teachers and the same service providers. They are more likely to reach a safe, permanent, and forever home at a quicker rate than a child without a CASA advocate.