CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) recently received a grant for $5,000 from the Dreiseszun Foundation to support their General Advocacy program.
The General Advocacy program provides advocates for children involved in the court systems of Johnson and Wyandotte counties due to abuse, neglect, and divorce-related issues. CASA’s mission is to empower abused and neglected children with a volunteer’s voice in court by seeking a safe and permanent home for each child. CASA’s volunteers ensure that the court system holds paramount children’s best interests, and that children are placed in safe and caring permanent homes.
In 2013, 993 children entered the court systems of Johnson and Wyandotte counties due to abuse, neglect, and other forms of maltreatment. Judges requested CASA advocates for 374 of these children, and CASA was able to provide advocates for 165 of those cases. All of these children are in need of a caring and stable adult presence to offer personal support and encouragement, and to serve as a dedicated advocate for the child’s best interests in court.
CASA was established in 1985 by the National Council of Jewish Women, Kansas City Chapter to provide trained volunteers as advocates for children involved in the Johnson County District Court system due to abuse, neglect, or other forms of maltreatment. In 1987, CASA began providing advocates for children involved in Johnson County’s court system due to divorce-related issues such as custody and visitation disputes. In 2005, CASA secured the support of the Wyandotte County District Court and expanded its services to include abused and neglected children living in Wyandotte County. For 28 years, CASA has recruited, screened, trained, and supervised community volunteers who advocate for the best interests of children involved in the court system due to abuse, neglect, custody, or visitation disputes. CASA has grown from a few volunteers serving a few dozen children per year in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s to serving nearly 500 per year, with hundreds of volunteers ready to advocate for the best interests of children in need of caring and compassion.