Our core program provides trained community volunteers to advocate in court on behalf of abused and neglected children in Cole County. We recruit, train, and support our volunteers to provide them with the resources they need to effectively speak for the children they represent. Our volunteers are sworn in by Cole County’s Juvenile Court Judge and work with their assigned child’s foster parents, family, teachers, social workers, lawyers, doctors, counselors, and others to provide an informed recommendation to the Juvenile Court Judge about what is in the child’s best interest. At any given time, Capital City CASA advocates for more than 150 children in our community, providing them with a consistent and compassionate face as they go through the foster care system.
Court Room Therapy Dog
For a child to appear in court as others decide their future for them is intimidating and overwhelming. Our therapy dog program provides a trained canine to give Cole County’s foster youth a sense of calm and safety in the courtroom. Olive, our dog, was a rescue dog who appears in court every juvenile court day and in other proceedings involving foster youth. Olive is well-behaved, loving, and calm, encouraging a feeling of security for traumatized children in our community. Olive has provided dozens of foster youth a friend in the courtroom.
CASA Angel Fund
At Capital City CASA we believe children in foster care need and deserve what any child needs, opportunity. The opportunity to play sports, take music, enjoy swimming or dance lessons. The opportunity to get assistance if they fall behind in school. In short, the opportunity to be a child. Unfortunately, by no fault of their own, foster children rarely are in circumstances where funds are available to help them access the opportunities they need. Our Angel Fund program was created to help provide CASA-served children with the resources necessary to thrive. Requests from the fund have included medical supplies, prom supplies, camps, therapy supplies, extracurricular activities, drivers’ school, independent living needs for older youth, and more.
No More Trash Bags Initiative
Foster children enter the system without notice, often having only minutes to pack their belongings before being rushed out of their homes. With such limited time, social workers help children pack their things in whatever is available, which is often a standard black trash bag. Through the initiative CASA provides luggage so when children leave their home or change foster homes, they leave without the indignity of having their belongings in trash bags.