Each year, approximately 780,000 children in the US are caught up in the court and child welfare maze because they are unable to live safely at home. Imagine what it would be like to lose your parents, not because of something you did, but because they can’t—or won’t—take care of you. Now, into these children’s lives come dozens of strangers: police, foster parents, therapists, social workers, judges, lawyers, and more. Hopefully, one of these strangers is a CASA volunteer.
CASA volunteers are appointed by judges to watch over and advocate for abused and neglected children, to make sure they don’t get lost in the overburdened legal and social service system or languish in an inappropriate group or foster home. They stay with each case until it is closed and the child is placed in a safe, permanent home. For many abused children, their CASA volunteer will be the one constant adult presence—the one adult who cares only for them.