What is CASA in 10 Seconds
CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates. We are a national organization of adult volunteers that judges appoint who are trained to speak for the safety and well-being of abused and neglected children.
10 Seconds More
By being independent investigators and advocates, CASA volunteers can make all the difference in these children’s lives. One example: Research shows children with a CASA volunteer are much less likely to languish in long-term foster care.
Key Facts About Our Cause
- The CASA model is a unique partnership between government and the community. It is the only program in which judges appoint everyday citizens to speak up for a child’s safety and well-being.
- The children assigned to CASA volunteers are victims of abuse and neglect.
- CASA programs are part of a national cause, with more than 85,000 volunteers in nearly 950 locations across the country. Last year, CASA served more than 260,000 new children and more than 400,000 children are in foster care on any given day.
- CASA volunteers come from all walks of life. You do not have to be a lawyer or social worker to volunteer. We welcome culturally diverse volunteers from all backgrounds. Over half of our volunteers work full time.
- CASA volunteers are well trained, with no less than 35 hours of training prior to being assigned to a case. Volunteers are well supported by local CASA program staff with professional backgrounds in the legal and child welfare fields.
Key Benefits of CASA Advocacy
- Children with a CASA volunteer are half as likely to spend time in long-term foster care, defined as more than three years in care.
- Cases involving a CASA volunteer are more likely to be permanently closed. Fewer than 10% of children with a CASA volunteer reenter the foster care system.
- CASA volunteers spend most of their volunteer time in contact with a child. They generally handle just one or two cases at a time so that they can give each child the sustained, personal attention he or she deserves. To a child, that means a consistent and caring adult presence in his or her life.
- CASA advocacy saves taxpayer dollars. If the median length of stay were shortened for children in foster care by just one month, it would realize a national savings to taxpayers of approximately $2.75 billion.