Providing a Voice for Powerless Children
Over 500,000 children in the United States are removed from their homes and enter child protective services because their home environments are unsafe. In 2016, in there were over 600 abuse/neglect cases in Delaware County. Delaware County CASA served all of those children, but only 214 children had their own dedicated CASA Volunteer. Currently there are over 300 children waiting for a volunteer to guide them through the juvenile court system and advocate for their best interests in court.
These children have suffered abuse, neglect, or other physical or sexual mistreatment, often due to one or both parents’ drug or alcohol addictions. Through no fault of their own, these children are removed from their homes and placed in foster care while their parents undergo services to address the problems in the home.
Once in the system, the Court must determine whether the children can be reunified with their families or need a different permanent plan for their lives, such as adoption or guardianship.
Children in this situation are scared, confused, sad, lonely, and overwhelmed. Worse, the adults the children trust the most are not there to support them. That’s where a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) comes in.