CASA is a non-profit organization committed to making a difference for children who otherwise slip through the cracks of an overburden child protection/foster care system. CASA volunteers are appointed by the Family Court judge to help guide one child or a set of siblings through the system to a safe and permanent home. These individuals are called Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASA volunteers. The judge appoints them according to the county in which they are trained and sworn by oath to advocate on behalf of the children they are assigned. Once assigned a case, the CASA volunteer will research case records and speak to each person involved in the child's life, including family members, teachers, doctors, lawyers, and social workers. These committed volunteers advocate for the child's best interest both in and outside of the courtroom.
Unlike CPS or Attorneys ad litem, they generally only have one case at a time. This gives them the unique ability to concentrate on one case at a time unlike the current system that finds itself over taxed with cases and lacking in resources. They see it to completion; this is also unlike the other paid entities. Many children will change case workers and attorneys and foster homes. The one constant in their lives remains their CASA worker. CASAs simply represent the children in every aspect of their cases including court representation and all necessary documents or appointments necessary to make informed recommendations to the judge on the children's behalf. They are literally, the eyes and ears of the judge.
Most CASAs remain constants in the children's lives well after cases are concluded. During the duration of the case, they monitor foster care, schooling, CPS, medical and emotional needs and other helpful resource entities. Without this vital role in the lives of these vulnerable children, their standard of care would leave them in high risk and unsafe environments for a long time. Tragically, some of these are ending in the deaths of these children. CASA has met this most vital role in the lives of these children; they are given hope and help in a dark place. CASAs truly are advocating for children.