CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocates, is a unique program; there are no other agencies or nonprofit organizations that provide advocacy on behalf of children in foster care. CASA is built on the foundation of everyday people contributing to make a difference in an abused child’s life. CASA-Voices for Children trains and supports community volunteers to advocate for children within legal custody of the state in Benton & Lincoln Counties.
Every day, judges decide the futures of abused and neglected children in the court system - a system that is overburdened and unable to adequately focus on the needs of each child.
When a child who has been abused and neglected is going through the trauma of the court system, a CASA advocate is tirelessly working to guide them through safely, quickly, and effectively. Without the powerful voice of an advocate, children too often return to unsafe homes or languish in long-term foster care, risking future abuse or neglect.
CASA-Voices For Children continues to serve 100% of children within legal custody of the state in Benton County. We recognize the importance of providing advocacy for all children in care, and after expanding our service area to include Lincoln County in August 2022, we are actively recruiting volunteers to increase the number of children served in Lincoln County.
"To ensure the best outcome and future for each child who has experienced abuse or neglect in Benton County, Lincoln County and beyond by training volunteers to provide advocacy, life skills,
and expanding services to help kids thrive."
HOW DO CASA VOLUNTEERS HELP CHILDREN?
CASA volunteers are appointed by judges to watch over and advocate for abused and neglected children, to make sure they don’t get lost in the overburdened legal and social service system or languish in inappropriate group or foster homes.
Volunteers stay with each case until it is closed and the child is placed in a safe, permanent home. For many abused children, their CASA volunteer will be the one constant adult presence in their lives.
Independent research has demonstrated that children with a CASA volunteer are substantially less likely to spend time in long-term foster care and less likely to reenter care.
WHO ARE CASA VOLUNTEERS?
CASA volunteers are dedicated, highly-trained community members who serve as the eyes and ears of the Court. They get to know the children, all areas of their lives and ensure they receive the services they need.
Volunteers speak for the child in the courtroom, representing their best interest and work to move the child as quickly and effectively as possible into a safe, permanent home.
Last year, more than 76,000 CASA and guardian ad litem (GAL) volunteers helped more than 251,000 abused and neglected children find safe, permanent homes. CASA/GAL volunteers are everyday citizens who have undergone screening and training with their local CASA/GAL program.
WHO ARE THE CHILDREN THAT CASA VOLUNTEERS HELP?
Judges appoint CASA volunteers to represent the best interests of children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect.
Each year, more than 600,000 children experience foster care in this country. Because there are not enough CASA/GAL volunteers to represent all of the children in care, judges typically assign CASA /GAL volunteers to their most difficult cases.