CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteers are well-trained and speak in court for the best interest of abused and neglected children. These children are in court due to no fault of their own. The state of Nebraska has removed these children from their homes.
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 to stay with his or her parents or guardians, be 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. CASA volunteers are often the only stable factor in an often frightening and difficult ordeal for a child.
For more information on becoming a CASA volunteer, including online training, click here.
With the onset of COVID-19, no one could have imagined the dramatic changes to which we would all have to adapt. Some might say this has been the most isolating time in our history.
Imagine what it has been like for children across Nebraska who were removed from their homes and placed in foster care during that time. Picture 3,000 children across Nebraska having to relocate to a new home, new school, attend courtroom hearings with a revolving door of adults – all while coping with the trauma of abuse and neglect.
So many things have changed. But one thing that has not changed is the difference that a Nebraska volunteer advocate makes in the life of a child. Our program staff and more than 1,000 volunteers have seen first-hand the pandemic’s impact on the 2,000 children we serve. This includes the disruption of children’s support networks and the suspension of critically important services like visitation with family, therapy, and special education services.