Every day in this country, 1,900 children become victims of abuse or neglect, and four of them will die. Every day. Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for Children is a network of 951 community-based programs that recruit, train, and support citizen-volunteers to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in courtrooms and communities. Volunteer advocates—empowered directly by the courts—offer judges the critical information they need to ensure that each child’s rights and needs are being attended to while in foster care.
Volunteers stay with children until they are placed in loving permanent homes. For many abused children, a CASA volunteer is the only constant adult presence in their lives. CASA volunteers are making lifelong differences in children's lives everyday! Each year, more than 200 children in Franklin and Hamilton counties find themselves involved in juvenile court due to abuse and neglect at the hands of those who are entrusted with their care, love, and guidance.
Court Appointed Special Advocates® (CASA) are community volunteers, just like you, who stand up and speak out to help abused and neglected children. We need men and women who are willing to commit 10 hours per month to make a direct impact for our children. And make no mistake, these are OUR children. They are children you pass in the store, or see on the playground. They are in the same classroom as your children and grandchildren. Like every child, these children need someone to step up and be their voice, to support them in their time of need.
WITH A CASA VOLUNTEER, CHILDREN:
- are more likely to find a safe, permanent home
- are more likely to be adopted
- are half as likely to re-enter foster care
- are substantially less likely to spend time in long-term foster care
- are more likely to have a plan for permanency, especially children of color
- receive more attention and services while in care
- are more likely to have a consistent, responsible adult presence
- spend less time in foster care
- receive improved representation in court
- do better in school performance
- are more likely to pass all courses
- are less likely to have poor conduct in school
- half as likely to re-enter foster care
MORE BENEFITS OF HAVING A CASA ADVOCATE:
- The time needed by lawyers is reduced
- CASA Advocates are more likely than paid lawyers to file written reports
- For each of 9 duties, judges rated CASA/GAL volunteers higher than attorneys
- CASA Advocates are highly effective in having their recommendations adopted by the court