What is CASA, and what do CASA volunteers do?

Imagine what it is like for children across Nebraska who are removed from their homes and placed in foster care at no fault of their own. Picture 3,000 children who have to relocate to a new home, a new school, and attend courtroom hearings with a revolving door of adults – all while coping with the trauma of abuse and neglect.

The State of Nebraska has removed these children, finding they were unsafe. Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers are well-trained to research the case they are assigned to, get to know the child(ren), and speak in court for the best interest of abused and neglected children throughout Nebraska. 

CASA volunteers are appointed to a case by the judge. The volunteer's goal is to provide a carefully researched background of the child to help the court make a sound decision about the child's future. Each home placement case is as unique as the child involved. The CASA volunteer researches the child's best interests, such as staying with his or her parents or guardians, being placed in foster care, or adoption. The CASA volunteer makes a recommendation on placement and follows through on the case until the child is safe in their home. 

For more information on how foster care works and becoming a CASA volunteer, including online training, click here.

So many things have changed. However, one thing that has not changed is the difference that a CASA volunteer makes in the life of a child. Our program staff and volunteers see first-hand the traumatic impact on the 2,000 children we serve. This includes the lack of services in Nebraska to help children removed from their homes and thrown into a system children do not understand. CASA volunteers are often the one person in all of this chaos who stays with them throughout the entire ordeal. CASA volunteers are not paid but advocate for abused and neglected children because they want to make a difference in the lives of children.