What is a CASA?
Every child should have a safe, permanent home, but many do not. In Georgia, approximately 7,065 children at any one time are entangled in the juvenile justice and foster care systems because they are victims of abuse, neglect or abandonment. A large majority of the children are taken from their homes and placed in a massive state system where they can get "lost" for months and even years.
Court Appointed Special Advocate Programs provide an innovative, cost-effective approach to a very urgent crisis. Community-based programs recruit, screen, train, and supervise volunteers to provide individualized attention for these innocent victims and an independent source of information for the judge who must decide their future.
What does a CASA do?
CASA volunteers serve as the eyes and ears of the court. They gather information from anyone who may be able to shed light on the child's situation. The CASA volunteer attends court proceedings and makes an independent recommendation to the judge about what is in the child's best interests -- bringing a sense of urgency to the child's needs. As a community partner in the child welfare system, a CASA volunteer increases a deprived child's access to services, promotes safety, and advocates for timeliness and permanency for children involved in juvenile court proceedings. The CASA volunteer remains involved until the case is permanently resolved to keep the focus on the child.