Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Johnson and Wyandotte Counties Awarded $25,000 Grant from John W. and Effie E. Speas Memorial Trust

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Johnson and Wyandotte Counties was recently awarded a $25,000 grant from the John W. and Effie E. Speas Memorial Trust to support the general operations of the organization.

CASA will use these funds to help support staff members who train and supervise volunteer advocates, as well as to help cover organizational administrative costs. CASA’s program staff members coordinate the activities of nearly 200 volunteers, pairing volunteers with children in need of a compassionate adult, and guiding those volunteers as they help children navigate the family court system. CASA’s staff members recruit and train new staff members, and ensure that current volunteers receive ongoing education in child advocacy. For 30 years, CASA has been helping to bring hope and healing to abused and neglected children, and with the help of the John W. and Effie E. Speas Memorial Trust, will continue to be a force for good in children’s lives.

Children involved in the court system due to abuse and neglect or divorce/custody disputes experience a significant number of challenges, including mental health issues, unstable living situations, and a court system that is both complex and overburdened.  The complex and overburdened court system can lead to children “falling through the cracks.” It is essential that a concerned party is focused solely on a child’s needs. CASA volunteers spend more time with a child than any other state welfare official or court staff member, and are in the best position to provide accurate and relevant information, allowing a judge to make the best decisions possible on behalf of a child.

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Johnson and Wyandotte Counties provides volunteer advocates who speak on behalf of the best interests of children who have become involved in the court systems of Johnson and Wyandotte counties (KS) due to abuse, neglect, and other forms of maltreatment, and also due to contentious divorce or custody proceedings. Founded in 1985, the agency currently serves nearly 500 children each year. CASA recruits, screens, trains, and coordinates nearly 200 volunteers. These volunteers establish relationships with their assigned children, investigating each child’s circumstances and reporting relevant and accurate information to judges, allowing those judges to make the most informed decisions possible, and increasing a child’s chances of finding a loving, permanent home. 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.