Every year, there are millions of abused and neglected children who have become wards of the court. Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) is a program where volunteers are appointed by the court to speak for the child’s best interest. CASA advocates are trained volunteers from our community.
These children are at risk because of their circumstances, i.e., they are abused, neglected, or both. The CASA volunteer reviews all records and speaks to all parties involved in the child’s case. The CASA volunteer then provides the judge with factual, researched details about the child to help the judge make an informed decision regarding the child’s future.
A CASA volunteer is often the one consistent person throughout the duration of the child’s case, providing continuity for the child until the case is permanently resolved.
We always need volunteers for our program as the number of new children assigned to us changes on a monthly basis. There is no special experience or education to become a CASA volunteer. All one needs is a commitment to children and the desire to help.
The American Bar Association, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, and the Office of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention of the U.S. Department of Justice have endorsed CASA.
Please think of our children and consider becoming a CASA volunteer. For more information, visit our website, www.casaleecarroll.com, or call 815-288-1901.
Note to readers – Marguerite Nye is a board member on the 15th Judicial Circuit CASA Board of Directors, which serves Lee, Carroll and Ogle counties.