Thousands of children in Idaho suffer physical, sexual and emotional abuse or severe neglect because the adults responsible for them don't provide adequate protection or care. These children are often removed from their parents care and place under the protective custody of the State as wards of the Court.
WHO SPEAKS FOR THE CHILD?
A CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) is a specially trained volunteer from the community who is appointed by the Court to represent the best interests of the child in court. The CASA helps insure that the child's right to a safe, permanent home is acted upon in a sensitive and expedient manner and that progress is being made to achieve permanency for the child.
The CASA acts as the "eyes and the ears of the Court.” Appointed by the judge, the CASA does his/her own independent investigation of the facts of the case and reports the facts, along with his/her recommendations, to the Court. The CASA stands as the representative for the child during all Court proceedings. After the disposition of the case, the CASA monitors the case as long as the child is under the jurisdiction of the Court, always making sure that the child's needs are being met in a reasonable and timely fashion.
Social workers are employed by the State Government. Their case loads are often so great that it is very difficult for them to always find the time to adequately investigate and follow up each case. The CASA has more time to devote to each case and has a much smaller caseload. The CASA does not replace the Social Worker on the case. S/he is an independent appointee of the Court, there to facilitate and enhance the whole Court procedure.
Anyone with a commitment to protecting the interests of children may apply for consideration as a CASA Volunteer. No special educational background is required but a volunteer must have the maturity to deal with complex emotional situations. S/he must possess sound decision making skills, and be able to remain objective and nonjudgmental. S/he must have a good rapport with children, have good communication skills, and have a sincere interest in the welfare of children. Each applicant is screened and fingerprinted for the safety of the children.
For more information on volunteering click HERE
The Judicial District VII CASA Program began serving children in April 1991 and serves children in Bingham, Bonneville, Butte, Clark, Custer, Fremont, Jefferson, Lemhi, Madison and Teton Counties as appointed.
National CASA and our network of over 900 local community programs supports 70,000 volunteers who serve 280,000 children. Idaho CASA provides critical leadership and support to help the state serve more children. We coordinate volunteer recruitment campaigns and ensure high-quality advocacy throughout the state.
We are determined to provide a CASA volunteer for every abused and neglected child. Your support will help us achieve our vision.
In the work of child advocacy, we may spend half a day negotiating to see that a child’s special needs are met, we may make fourteen phone calls in search of an aunt who hasn’t been heard from in six years, or we may talk to a parent who has made no progress with a rehab program. We may become frustrated and angry and overwhelmed. But we don’t stop we don’t give up. This advocacy in all of its persistence, diligence, and commitment is what it takes for children to have a chance at a safe, permanent home.
Your support will make a lifelong, positive impact for abused and neglected children. More than three million children are reported abused or neglected each year in the United States. 600,000 of these children are in foster care because they cannot safely live with their families.
If you can’t become a CASA volunteer there are other ways to help. Please feel free to make a donation to Idaho CASA or to your local CASA program or call Idaho CASA Association to find out additional ways you can make a positive difference in a child’s life.
You can support CASA by becoming a volunteer, or by making a donation.
WHAT DOES CASA DO?
HOW DOES A CASA DIFFER FROM A SOCIAL SERVICE CASEWORKER?
WHO CAN BE A CASA?