Court Appointed Special Advocate, CASA, is a non-profit organization started April 10, 1991, by a group of citizens concerned about the number of child abuse cases in Carter County. In 1995 CASA expanded its OUTREACH to the entire 20th Judicial District (Carter, Love, Marshall, Johnston & Murray counties).
A CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) is a volunteer appointed by a Judge of the 20th Judicial District. The volunteer acts as an advocate for an abused or neglected child. A CASA's responsibilities include investigating the circumstances surrounding the case, making an independent evaluation of what is in the child's best interest, both immediately and in the long run, and monitoring the case until a permanent plan is approved by the court.
CASAs are needed because child abuse and neglect is epidemic in America and in Oklahoma. Hundreds of abuse cases are reported in our area each year! The judges need volunteers to supply them with information to ensure that the children are provided a safe home. These children need an advocate to ensure that they do not get "lost in the system" and that placements are truly in the best interest of the child.
CASAs have much to offer toward seeing that the best interests of the child are served. As CASAs are assigned to only one active case at a time, they have the time to do the type of in-depth investigation necessary. Because of their volunteer status, they are able to make completely independent recommendations and are able to concentrate solely on the needs of the child. CASAs are able to follow up each case so that a child does not get lost in the system.
Any adult with the desire and time to help an abused or neglected child may volunteer to become a CASA. Sensitivity, dedication and common sense are more important CASA attributes than educational background and work experience.