The well-being and prosperity of a society in general and a community in particular is dependent upon both collective as well as individual efforts. The collective effort is usually considered the responsibility of the government, while individual efforts come from volunteers who become a part of the collective offer and play their part in making the society better.
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) is an association in USA that with the help of efforts by Government and individual volunteers works to better the plight of neglected and abused children by finding them safe and permanent homes. In this regard, the Government works on training Special Advocates who become active in the society to make sure that children find safe homes for a long time instead of moving from one foster home to another.
How Did It All Begin?
It all began in 1977 when David Soukup – Seattle Superior Court Judge faced the issue of relying on only the information of State Child Protective Services for passing judgement on neglected or abused child cases. Soukup came up with the idea that volunteers should come up and speak for the matters concerning children’s interests. Fifty volunteers responded to his idea, which served as a trigger for a movement that crossed Seattle and spread throughout the country, making sure that children were no more neglected or abused.
Objectives of CASA!
Although the holistic objective of CASA is to ensure general wellbeing and abuse-free environment for children, however, the association has set some strategic objectives as well that assist in providing specific directions to the association and make sure that every Advocate is aware of the vision that the Association carries. The prime objectives of CASA are as under:
- The first strategic objective of CASA is to make sure that every court throughout United States of America acknowledges the pivotal importance of CASA volunteers as a means of better outcomes for children. It implies that the volunteer CASA advocates with their conduct and efficiency have to establish a repute with courts throughout the country to an extent where courts realize their importance pertinent to a better future for children.
- Secondly, the volunteers in CASA should be representative of the cultural diversity of the children in the country. It means that the volunteers of CASA should be as various and as diverse as are the children in a particular state or throughout the country.
- Thirdly, to make sure that every potential donor is aware of the importance of CASA advocates and the knowledge and agreeableness of the CASA advocates is on the priority list of the donors.
- Fourthly, all the government officials, whether they are on local, federal or state level should understand the benefit that CASA advocates provide pertaining to children safety and a healthy environment for their future.
Stats So Far..!
Since 1977, CASA has spread all over United States and has become an integral part of the childcare system. According to CASA, at present there are over 77,000 advocates of CASA serving in over 933 local offices throughout the country. The volunteers have made it possible for CASA to assist 233,000 cases since its establishment. As far as the funding is concerned, the National CASA agency receives grant from Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and from partner organizations such as Jewelers for Children. The National agency then passes the grant to the states who then pass it on to the local areas.
CASA is an integral part of childcare system as its assists in forming the foundation for a better future for our country. There are CASA advocates all around who are just there to assist children as well as parents. If you are in search of any in Oregon or want to become a volunteer, you can easily contact CASA and become a contributor to a better future for our children.