What is CASA?

A Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) is a trained community volunteer appointed by a judge to speak up for the best interests of an abused or neglected child involved in a juvenile court proceeding.

Child holding a cardboard sign reading "8 foster homes"

How can you help?

© Contact us to request an application packet.

© Participate in a background check and an interview.

© Begin and complete CASA training.

© Be assigned to a child or siblings and start being their powerful voice.

Child holding a cardboard sign reading "Foster children should be seen and heard.:

Why CASA?

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.

Georgia’s Court Appointed Special Advocate Programs provide an innovative, cost-effective approach to a very urgent crisis.  Community-based programs recruit, screen, train, and supervise volunteers to provide individualized advocacy for these innocent victims and an independent source of information for the judge who must decide their future.

What does a CASA do?

CASA volunteers serve as the eyes and ears of the court.  They interview anyone who may be able to shed light on the child’s needs.  The CASA then goes to court and makes recommendations to the judge, based on the CASA’s independent assessment, about what is in the child’s best interests.  The CASA remains involved to keep the focus on the child until the case is permanently resolved.

Does the CASA work with attorneys and caseworkers?

The CASA works with an attorney guardian ad litem (GAL) or with the child’s attorney, if one is appointed, to represent the child in court.  The CASA does not provide legal representation in the court proceeding.  The CASA speaks up for the child’s best interests and continues on the case after the judicial proceeding in order to ensure that there is permanency in the child’s life.

The CASA also works with caseworker from the Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS) to ensure that the plan for permanency is being implemented.  Caseworkers are employees of the state government and sometimes work on 40 to 60 cases at a time.  The CASA can enhance the caseworker’s ability to do their job by providing community involvement.  The CASA is a volunteer who works with about three families at a time, and because of this, can give the child what others in the system do not have:  time.

1 Broad St, Ste. 201 · Ellijay, GA 30540 · ph: (706) 276-2272 · fax: (706) 276-2274 · info@appalachiancasa.com