What Is CASA of Jackson County?
CASA of Jackson County, founded in 1990, is a non-profit organization responsible for recruiting, training and supporting the work of CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteers. CASA volunteers do what no one else does- they donate their time to act as independent eyes and ears of the court and speak solely for the best interest of children and youth in the custody of DHS.
- Community members from varied educational backgrounds, cultures, and life experiences
- Individuals with a genuine interest in the well-being of children
- Men, women or couples over 21 years old, who are willing to complete 40 hours of training plus 12 hours annually of continued education and give approximately 10 hours per month to change the life of a child
- Abused and neglected children are all ages, newborns to age 18; 58% are 5 years old or younger
- It is estimated that more than 1,000 children in Jackson County are victims of abuse and/or neglect each year
- Gathers all pertinent information related to the child’s case
- Identifies the child’s needs and ensures appropriate services
- CASAs show up and speak up
- Makes recommendations to the court judge through written and verbal reports
- Serves as a consistent & knowledgeable advocate for the child’s placement in a safe, permanent and nurturing home
- The presiding judge relies on the CASA to investigate the case and recommend what is in the child’s best interest.
- CASAs strive to make sure children are not re-abused
- CASAs ensure children receive needed services (therapy, health care, special education)
- CASAs are often the only consistent person in an abused child’s life
- In Jackson County in 2017, 183 CASAs served 648 children.
- Of the 648 children served by a CASA in 2017, 87% reunited with parents and 13% were adopted or found legal guardians. In addition, 235 continue to have the powerful voice of a CASA.