What does CASA stand for? CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates. This means that the court appoints CASAs in cases where children have been abused and/or neglected in Boone County, IL. In Boone County CASA serves 100% of abused and neglected children.
What does an advocate do? An advocate meets the child, listens to them, and gets to know them and their family. An advocate writes reports on what they see and hear when they visit the child, and these reports get submitted to the court to help a judge make decisions concerning the child. The advocate tells the judge what the child wants and feels. The advocate becomes the voice of the child since, oftentimes, the child is not present in the courtroom.
Who can be an advocate? Many different kinds of people can be advocates. An advocate must be 21 or over, able to pass a background check, able to complete 30 hours of training, and be able to visit a child in their home once a month.
Is an advocate on their own? No, advocates are always supported by many people. There are office staff who answer questions, attorneys who represent CASAs in court, and social service providers who work alongside CASAs.
Does CASA help children? Yes, it has been reported that children who are assigned CASA advocates spend shorter amounts of time in the foster care system, have fewer placement changes, and better outcomes. CASA can advocate to make sure children have coats in the winter, educational tools, and appropriate medical care.