05 Apr Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Johnson and Wyandotte Counties Receives $37,575 Grant from Kansas Victims of Crime Act (KS VOCA)
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Johnson and Wyandotte Counties recently received a grant for $37,575 from the Kansas Victims of Crime Act (KS VOCA) to support the hiring of another Program Coordinator to supervise Volunteers serving child abuse victims.
The new Program Coordinator will focus entirely on cases serving children who have been primary victims of maltreatment, including physical abuse, sexual abuse, and failure to properly provide for life-threatening medical conditions, as well as children who have been secondary victims of domestic violence so severe that Family Courts have determined the child to be in danger. Program Coordinators are vital to CASA’s advocacy efforts, as they directly supervise CASA Volunteers working directly with the children. CASA Program Coordinators have years of experience in the child welfare system and understand how to access resources available to children and families in crisis. Coordinators review case assignments, assist in developing case plans, review and submit reports to the Court, and attend all court hearings with CASA Volunteers. Each Coordinator oversees up to 35 Volunteers.
CASA Volunteers are a stable presence in a child’s life during very difficult times, and that stable presence is critical to the development of a child’s resiliency and ability to handle stress. CASA Volunteers provide the stable and compassionate presence in a child’s life that helps the child develop in the healthiest way possible. 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 maltreatment, 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.
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.