What is a CASA? (Court Appointed Special Advocate for Children) C A S A CASAs represent the best interest of abused, neglected and deprived children in court proceedings within our community. The CASA will serve as the eyes and ears of the court by providing information the judge needs in order to make a decision that is in the child's best interest.
A trained CASA volunteer investigates the child's circumstances, provides fact-based information and makes recommendations to the court while becoming a source of support for the child. Ultimately, the role of the CASA is to decrease the amount of disruption in a child's life and to help ensure that the child has a safe and permanent home. C A S A What is a CASA? (Court Appointed Special Advocate for Children)
CASA Volunteers are Thoroughly Trained in: <ul><li>Child Abuse & Neglect </li></ul><ul><li>Social Services </li></ul><ul><li>Permanency Planning </li></ul><ul><li>Family Preservation </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural Diversity </li></ul><ul><li>Interviewing Skills </li></ul><ul><li>Courtroom Procedure & Testimony </li></ul>C A S A
When A CASA is Present: C A S A The child is moved from placement to placement less frequently. The child is more likely to receive necessary services in a timely manner. The child is more likely to have his/her case reviewed regularly by the court. The child has a better chance of living in a safe, permanent home.
CASA in Altus, Oklahoma C A S A Oklahoma is in the top 20% of states for children per capita in foster care. At any given time, there are at least 8,000 children in foster care in Oklahoma (this is larger than the overall population of 78% of rural towns).
CASA in Altus, Oklahoma C A S A In 2005, there were 13,328 confirmed cases of abuse and/or neglect in Oklahoma. Since our agency was established 2003, 95 CASA volunteers have been appointed by the court to speak up for over 280 children in our area.
CASAs in Action In 2008, CASA programs had 68,842 volunteers donate over 5.8 million hours to making a lifelong difference in the lives of an estimated 240,894 abused and neglected children. CASA volunteers make sure that the abuse and neglect that the children originally suffered at home does not continue as abuse and neglect at the hands of the system. CASAs handle just one or two cases at a time so that they can give each child’s case the sustained, personal attention he or she deserves. C A S A
CASAs in Action (cont.) Children with a CASA volunteer spend less time in foster care. Only 13.3% of CASA cases reach 3 years in foster care, versus 27.0% of children without a CASA. C A S A Cases involving a CASA volunteer are more likely to be permanently closed . Just 9% of CASA children reenter the welfare system. This is in contrast to 16% for children not served by a volunteer.
To Give a Child a CASA is… <ul><li>… to give them a voice . </li></ul><ul><li>And to give them a voice, is to give them hope . </li></ul><ul><li>And, to give them hope, is to give them the world ! </li></ul>C A S A
To Be a CASA Volunteer: <ul><li>Must be willing to commit to the child for at least one year </li></ul>C A S A Have the ability to clearly communicate orally and in writing
<ul><li>Must be willing to spend 5-10 hours each month working on your case </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Must be prepared to interview the child, parents, teachers, ministers, daycare providers, and others who might have information regarding your case </li></ul></ul>C A S A
5 Steps to becoming a Child Advocate: *Must be 21 years of age or older
<ul><ul><li>"We are guilty of many errors and many faults, but our worst crime is abandoning our children, neglecting the fountain of life. Many of the things we need can wait. The child cannot. Right now is the time. Bones are being formed, blood is being made, senses are being developed. To the child we cannot answer 'Tomorrow'. The child's name is 'Today'." </li></ul></ul>C A S A <ul><ul><li>~Garbiela Mistral </li></ul></ul>