What is CASA?
In the year of 1977, there were major concerns raised over the matter of child abuse and neglect. The main conflict was decisions regarding children’s lives without the correct amount of information.
It was then determined that a judge in Seattle developed the idea of using community volunteers that were trained correctly. These volunteers would be able to speak for children and keep their best interest in mind while in child court.
The judge’s decision became widely popular due to its success. All across the country many judges were putting in place the same methods. By 1990, Congress greatly encouraged the expansion of CASA along with the Victims of Child Abuse Act.
Court Appointed Special Advocate?
CASA volunteers are sought out by judges in order to speak up for children’s best interests. These children have been removed from their homes, not by an action caused by them. The children are known to usually be in temp foster care or a group home. CASA helps these children.
These court appointed special advocates are trained volunteers. They are trained to speak up for abused and neglected children in court. With all of the info that is provided by CASA volunteers, the judges are then able to make a more accurate decision.
CASA volunteers also will review records, collect information, and talk to all people involved. People involved can include parents, teachers, foster parents, and the child. Based on the information given, it is presented to the judge.
CASA’s Mission for the state of Montana
CASA for the state of Montana teamed up with local programs in order to support and promote court appointed volunteers for abused and mistreated children. The goal was for the children to be able to thrive in a safe, permanent home.
There were over 15 different groups that work together for the sake of Montana’s neglected children. They provided them with a future and a voice. The programs offered trained volunteers in over 60% of abuse cases in the state.