CASA volunteers are appointed by judges to advocate for children’s best interests. They stay with each case until it is closed and the child is in a safe, permanent home.
Volunteers work with legal and child welfare professionals, educators and service providers to ensure that judges have all the information they need to make the most well-informed decisions for each child.
Our best-interest advocacy is driven by the guiding principle that children grow and develop best with their family of origin, if that can be safely achieved. Most of the children we work with are in foster care, but some are with their family of origin. And, most children who leave foster care do so to return to their family.
Children and youth who have experienced abuse or neglect are among the most vulnerable populations in America. A child in foster care may have faced physical, psychological or emotional trauma and years of uncertainty as they wait to go home, be adopted or simply see what happens next. All that chaos has long-term effects. Young people who have spent time in foster care are more likely to face incarceration, homelessness and unemployment. They are less likely to graduate high school and more likely to be victims of trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation.
Having a caring, consistent adult to listen and put a child’s best interests before all others’ can make all the difference.
CASA volunteers are there to change lives at the most challenging time in a child’s life, and they do. Multiple studies have shown that children who have experienced abuse or neglect fare better with a CASA volunteer by their side.
This program is supported in part by a grant from United Way of Norman.