CASA stands for court appointed special advocates
We see news stories every day about children taken from an abusive home, or because of the tragic loss of a parent due to illness, violence or incarceration. We assume there must be a program or “system” that will take care of these children and make sure they are treated with dignity, given a safe place to live, so they can recover from their hardship and be a child again.
But there is a story behind the story that few people speak about. It is the story of overburdened foster care and child welfare systems that – though full of well-intentioned and deeply committed people – cannot begin to meet the needs of the more than 660,000 children in foster care in the United States.
It is the story of a six-year-old girl who has been moved to six foster homes and multiples schools over the past two years. The story of siblings being separated from one another during the most vulnerable times in their lives and given no opportunity to see one another. The story of a teen being handed all his belongings in a plastic bag at the age of 18, because he has “aged out” of the system. It is a story that occurs over and over again in America’s foster care and child welfare system.
But these stories have better endings, because there is a group of trained volunteers, appointed by judges to advocate for these children. People who fight for these abused and neglected children, to make sure their basic rights and essential needs don’t get overlooked or ignored by the system. These stories can have better endings because of people like you…
We are Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for children, a volunteer-powered network of committed people from all walks of life who believe society has a fundamental obligation to these children. We are people just like you who believe that every child has the right to be treated with dignity, to be safe, and to thrive in the embrace of a loving family.
With a CASA volunteer, a child is half as likely to languish in the foster care and child welfare system, and that much more likely to find a safe, permanent home.