The mission of CASA is to advocate for children who have been removed from the home due to neglect and abuse, and for all children to thrive in a safe and loving home. It is also our mission to make sure every child brought into the foster care system has a CASA.
What does a CASA do? We advocate for children in court. Let’s face it, the welfare and court systems can be pretty scary to navigate, even as an adult. Imagine it as a child. You have been taken away from the only life you have ever known, placed with other family members or even a foster home where you know no one. Pretty frightening, wouldn’t you say?
When a child has been removed from the home, a judge appoints a CASA to the case. The CASA visits the child, spends time reading, playing, and talking to them. They write reports to the court telling the judge what that child thinks and wants, then make a recommendation in that child’s best interest. Sometimes in the DCFS system, it’s necessary to change caseworkers for the child. Many times, they will have several different caseworkers.
CASA’s are an extra set of eyes and ears for DCFS and the courts. At CASA, we try to keep the same advocate on that case from start to finish. Sometimes, we are the only constant in their lives. Most of these kids are used to adults coming and going. We don’t leave that child. In fact, often times a CASA stays in touch with them well into adulthood.
Does this sound interesting to you? Do you have just a few hours a month you could donate your time to a child in need?