What is CASA?
Cobb County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) is a court-based program of the Juvenile Court of Cobb County. It was created to provide a voice to speak for the best interests of abused and neglected children involved in dependency proceedings.
The Juvenile Court of Cobb County Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Program provides thoroughly screened, expertly trained and fully supervised community-based, citizen volunteers to advocate for the best interests of children involved in juvenile court dependency proceedings. Cobb County Court Appointed Special Advocates speak up for the needs and basic human rights of child victims of abuse and neglect, one child at a time.
What Do Advocates Do?
A Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) is a volunteer powered by a network of committed people-from all walks of life-who believe society has a fundamental obligation to be the voice for maltreated children.
CASA volunteers advocate for these abused and neglected children, making sure their basic rights and essential needs don’t get overlooked or ignored by the system. Their stories can have better endings because of people like you.
Federal law requires that an advocate, such as a CASA volunteer, be appointed in all cases of abuse and neglect. Overburdened workers in the child welfare system are often unable to give detailed attention to each child. Children need a voice. They need someone who can promote and protect their best interests. A CASA volunteer can give the child what others do not have, and that is TIME!
A CASA volunteer sees the child monthly, gathers information about the child’s situation, provides information and recommendations to the court through written reports, attends court proceedings, and continues to advocate until the child is in their “forever” home.
Ambassadors of Cobb CASA
Ambassadors of Cobb CASA, Inc. is a 501(c)3 organization, established to support the efforts of the Juvenile Court of Cobb County CASA program and its volunteers. Ambassadors of Cobb CASA, Inc. is governed by a dedicated Board of Directors, whose mission is to provide resources for the Cobb County CASA program by securing partnerships in the community.
- Increasing community outreach.
- Creating relationships with local businesses.
- Attracting additional Cobb County CASA volunteers to advocate for the 50 children currently waiting for a CASA!
Solutions CASA Offers
A large percentage of the children who come before the court as dependent children later return to court in delinquency and criminal matters. Children who are abused and neglected are the same children who are committing crimes in our community. Early intervention by a CASA volunteer can reduce the likelihood of a child becoming delinquent.
Permanent Placement for Children
Every child should have a safe, loving and permanent home, but many do not. Each year in Georgia, thousands of children become entangled in the juvenile justice and foster care programs because they are victims of abuse or neglect. A large majority of the children are taken from their homes and placed in an already overburdened system where they can get “lost” for months and even years. Because CASA volunteers recommend for the best interest of the child and search for permanent placement, there is a significant reduction in the amount of time a child spends in temporary foster care if he has a CASA volunteer. A CASA volunteer helps not only to end the abuse or neglect experienced by each child, but also to break the cycle of violence and abuse that will otherwise continue through that child.
Consistent Advocate in the Child's Life
CASA volunteers are often one of the few consistent figures in a child’s life. While a child may have many caseworkers, foster parents, schools, and residences, the CASA volunteer stays with the child for the duration of the case. Because CASA volunteers carry an average caseload of only 2 cases, they are able to give each child what others in the system do not have – TIME. The CASA volunteer spends numerous hours working on these cases, and the CASA volunteer’s only job is to speak for the child to assure that his or her best interests are not overlooked. Each CASA volunteer commits an average of approximately 15 hours per month to the children and Cobb County CASA program, for a period of at least 18 months.