The CASA program was created by a Seattle Washington judge who was concerned with his decisions about how to handle cases with abused and neglected children without sufficient information.

This judge began using trained community volunteers to speak for the best interests of these children in court. The program was such a great success in Seattle that very soon judges across the country decided to use citizen advocates.

Perhaps the hardest decision a judge will ever make is to remove a child from a birth family.

For people outside the legal system, it is important to recognize the adversarial nature of courts and law in America. Divorce law is a tiny example of how painful our system makes the resolution of family legal matters. Child abuse and neglect are a sad but very real part of life in America and children must be protected against dangerous home environments.

Today, federal law mandates that children in need of protection will have a CASA voice in the courtroom. After all, a five or six year old has not much more comprehension or ability to testify than a three year old in a courtroom setting.

Not all CASA members are volunteers. Some CASA are paid staff and some are attorneys.

As a long time volunteer CASA, I am partial to the volunteer programs mainly because we take fewer cases and by taking fewer cases we can spend more time and have more involvement with the child and family (read my book; http://www.invisiblechildren.org/our-book/ ) — these children really do need all the time, concern, and resources that this community can deliver.

The following are a few CASA blogs and websites I have discovered that give a snapshot of CASA programs and accomplishments:

Mass:
http://www.masskids.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=frontpage&Itemid=1&d4dad6935f632ac35975e3001dc7bbe8=279969f8375c4284bcbb8496b9eee605

Oregon;
http://www.myspace.com/casacc

Mi
http://www.casawashtenaw.org/

National CASA Youtube:
You Tube CASA video

OklahomaCASA
myspace

National CASA

CASA MN

Send us your favorite CASA blogs and website and we will post them here;

send to info@invisiblechildren.org

MN day care

It is a bigger step to convince people that healthy children become healthy citizens, but it is true.

2 Comments

  1. CASA is a fantastic organization. I have personally seen the benefit of CASA volunteer advocates working dependency / neglect cases. I began with our CASA program as a volunteer in 2002. I am now the Executive Director of Pulaski County CASA. (www.pulaskicountycasa.org) – (Shamless plug for my program).

    I would encourage everyone to look into your local CASA program. Perhaps you do not feel that you have the time to be a volunteer advocate, but there are so many ways to help your local program. $10.00 a month, sit on committee to help with the local fundraiser, volunteer to help with the office, coordinate a school supply drive, etc. There are so many ways to help. But you will never know until you contact the office and see what their biggest needs are.

    CASA volunteer advocates are special people who have a heart for kids in crisis and want to make sure that every child gets the “happy childhood” that they deserve.

    I am asked all the time “How can you do this work?” my standard response is … “Now that you know the need in your community … How can you not?”

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