20 Jan Ash Grove Foundation Awards $2000 to Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)
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.
CASA Volunteers and CASA Program Coordinators together play a critical role in ensuring children involved in the court system are safe from further abuse and neglect, and that their best interests are held paramount by the court system. Volunteers and Coordinators help children navigate the maze of the child welfare and Family Court systems and work to find children safe and permanent homes as quickly as possible.
CASA of Johnson and Wyandotte Counties 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. In 2005, CASA secured the support of the Wyandotte County District Court and began providing advocates for 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.