Wednesday, November 10, 2010

CASA - Court Appointed Special Advocates

Long time friend Sharon in Dallas encouraged me to pursue CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) volunteerism this summer when we visited over iced tea and salads.  I had been thinking of this for some time, knowing the great need for CASA volunteers in Mesa County, Colorado.  But Sharon spurred me on to start the process of child advocacy due to her commitment as a Dallas County CASA.
Here is more about CASA in Mesa County from their website:and from the Dallas Morning News:
Court Appointed Special Advocates of Mesa County (CASA-MC), recruits, screens, and trains volunteers to speak in court on behalf of children who are abused, neglected or abandoned by their families. These volunteers are the eyes and ears of the Judge. Judges, make the final decision of where a child will live. Will the child be returned to the parent or will parental rights be terminated and the child be placed for adoption. This decision is influenced by the information the volunteer provides to a Judge and could be a major determining factor in the future of that child.
Casa means home, but for thousands of abused and neglected children, it's an acronym that has even more meaning – it's the best chance of finally finding safe, permanent homes where they can thrive.
A CASA volunteer performs these functions on behalf of the child who comes under the court system because of neglect or abuse:
  • investigates the needs and situation of the child...
  • has regular, in-person contact with the child sufficient to have in-depth knowledge of the case
  • makes fact-based recommendations to the court
  • seeks cooperative solutions by acting as a facilitator among conflicting parties
  • advocates for the best interest of the child, including providing reports that include findings and recommendations
  • files interim court reports of important developments in the case
  • advocates for the child's interests in the community by interfacing with mental health, educational and other community systems to assure that the child's needs in these areas are met
  • monitors implementation of service plans and court orders, assuring that court-ordered services are implemented in a timely manner and that review hearing are held in accordance with the law
  • participates in all scheduled case conferences with supervisory staff
  • participates in in-service training
  • maintains complete records about the case, including appointments, interviews and information gathered ab out the child and the child's life circumstances
  • records volunteer hours and submits times sheet to program office
  • maintains strict confidentiality on all cases
  • complies with all applicable statutory requirements pertaining to confidentiality of client information  (from volunteer training manual)
This list may look exhaustive, but as with other worthwhile efforts, much satisfaction can be derived from giving of your time and talents.

 To whom much is given is much required. [Luke 12:48

John F Kennedy : For of those to whom much is given, much is required. And when at some future date the high court of history sits in judgment on each of us recording whether in our brief span of service we fulfilled our responsibilities to the state our success or failure, in whatever office we hold, will be measured by ...

More than a dozen of us will be sworn in as CASA representatives on November 15, 2010 by the Honorable David Bottger, Chief Judge of the 21st Judicial District in Mesa County, Colorado.

In Mesa County, contact 970-242-4191 or email to for further information about how you might become a CASA advocate. (Children from birth to six years of age are the age group under the "expedited permanency planning process" in most states.)


  1. What a rewarding journey you are taking!  Hope you will enjoy helping others!  It sure sounds wonderful!  Have a blessed day!  HUGS!

    Theresa theycallmeganky

  2. CASA is a terrific program - due to the great folks like you who get trained and advocate for the most vulnerable among us!

  3. My friend has been a CASA volunteer for some time. she loves it! It`s a very rewarding program.


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