What is CASA?
CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates. We use community trained volunteers to advocate on behalf of abused and neglected children within the Family Court system. To become a volunteer, an individual has to be at least 21 years or older, consent to background checks, not be a foster parent and be willing to complete the 30-hour pre-service training. The pre-service training provides volunteers with the knowledge and skills to be an effective advocate for these children and to represent their best interests in court. Every year CASA volunteers are also required to have 12 hours of continuing education.
CASA of Madison and Clark Counties is appointed to cases by the Madison and Clark County Family Court Judge when he/she deems it an appropriate CASA case. CASA volunteers are then matched to a case where their skills and training will benefit the children most. CASA volunteers work to help the children they are appointed to achieve permanency. CASA volunteers advocate for a safe and permanent home for these children. CASA volunteers work with all parties involved including parents, foster parents, attorneys, social workers, teachers and medical personnel to ensure they have a full picture to give to the court. CASA volunteers share their information in the form of court report which has recommendations regarding the child/children to the Family Court Judge.
Neglected and abused children have many different people come in and out of their lives, therefore, our CASA volunteers, will stay involved for the duration of the court case. The average length of a court case is a year and a half. We do not want to be another person that comes into a child’s life and then leaves - we want to be a constant in these children's lives.
CASA volunteers are sworn to confidentiality to ensure all information remains confidential.