CASA Mission Statement: To provide abused, neglected, and exploited children a voice in Court. To give a child a CASA is to give them a voice. To give them a voice is to give them hope. To give them hope is to give them the world.
DESCRIPTION OF CASA PROGRAM: It is a program in which citizens are recruited, screened using background checks and a screening interview with the Director. They are required to attend 30 hours of intense training, which is established through National CASA. Following the successful completion of the training the trainees are then sworn in as part of the Juvenile Court System by a Juvenile Court Judge.
The volunteers become a “voice for the child in Court” who is in foster placement not because of something they have done but because of something that was done to them.
The volunteer receives a court appointment on a child abuse and neglect case appointed by the Court Judge. The volunteer’s main objectives are observation, investigation and monitoring of the case. As the Judge has stated the CASA volunteers are their “eyes and ears” on the case.
A fact based report is written by the CASA Volunteer and reviewed by the CASA Program Supervisor. The report is distributed to all the legal parties in the case before the court hearing. CASA volunteers attend court hearings.
THE CASA program has been in Nebraska for over 20 years.
The CASA Program has been active in Scotts Bluff County since 1996.
During 2009, CASA of Scotts Bluff County served 78 individuals.
In 2009, 29 children achieved permanency in Scotts Bluff County.
There are approximately 100 children currently in foster care within the county – it is the hope of the Juvenile Court that eventually each of these children will have an advocate.
On December 31, 2009, there were 1,436 children in Nebraska on a waiting list for CASA services (represents only children in the counties where there is a CASA Program)
Children with a CASA Volunteer experience fewer out-of –home placements than children without a CASA Volunteer
Children who have a CASA volunteer achieve permanency (a safe home in which they can thrive) an average of four months sooner than children without a CASA Volunteer.
The average annual CASA program cost per child is $1,020.
The average annual cost per CASA volunteer is $2,450 (for training, continuing education and supervision).