CASA volunteers are appointed by judges to watch over and advocate for abused and neglected children, to make sure they don’t get lost in the overburdened legal and social service system or languish in inappropriate group or foster homes. Volunteers stay with each case until it is closed and the child is placed in a safe, permanent home. For many abused children, their CASA volunteer will be the one constant adult presence in their lives.
Independent research has demonstrated that children with a CASA volunteer are substantially less likely to spend time in long-term foster care and less likely to reenter care.
Judges appoint CASA volunteers to represent the best interests of children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect. Each year, more than 700,000 children experience foster care in this country. Because there are not enough CASA volunteers to represent all of the children in care, judges typically assign CASA volunteers to their most difficult cases.
CASA is funded primarily through government grants and other partnerships. They do accept donations from the public in order to support their mission of advocating for abused and neglected children.
As we quickly approach year-end, and the clock is ticking on 2011 tax donations, consider investigating CASA and seeing if this organization is one you can support. They, of course, are always looking for qualified volunteers to BE an advocate, so if you have a place in your heart and time in your life, maybe CASA is a good fit for you.