CASA is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization committed to preventing child abuse and neglect and recruiting and training volunteers to go through the court process with children who have been abused or neglected. Our long-term goal is to ensure that every child has a safe and permanent home.
CASA Volunteers are specially trained to work with the children we serve and the multitude of situations we encounter. We go through an intensive training program designed by the National CASA Association with local applications included. Once we go through the training program, we are sworn in by Judge Kramer as official officers of the court and have the same rights and privileges to the child’s information as do attorneys, doctors, teachers, and Guardian Ad Litems.
CASA Volunteers are the “eyes and ears” of the court. Our volunteers can go where the judge cannot go – into the homes, schools, doctor’s, and counselor’s offices of the children we serve. We can provide him with valuable information that he cannot get otherwise. Judge Kramer has reported that CASA of Shelby County provides him with invaluable information while saving his court and the Department of Human Resources “hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.” He also reports that he has seen cases where CASA has prevented child abuse and neglect from occurring. That is a huge accomplishment for our trained volunteers.
CASA Volunteers also keep children from the possibility of being further victimized by the court process – which is oftentimes an intimidating process for anyone, much less a child. We also offer personalized, supervised visitation for these children with their parents or guardians – visits they may not get as quickly or as often without our assistance. Our volunteers all receive background checks to provide these special services and they go through extensive training to be able to do so as well.
CASA Volunteers serve as mentors, advocates, confidantes, and court companions for the children we serve. CASA Volunteers are a child’s “voice” in court. Sometimes an abused or neglected child’s only source of stability in their lives is their CASA Volunteer. The average court case takes up to one year to complete and the same CASA Volunteer remains assigned to the same child throughout that period – building a relationship of trust and stability.
CASA also offers parenting classes throughout the year. Contac us for more information on how to become a CASA Volunteer or attend our parenting classes.