Cass County CASA Advocates for Children
About Cass County CASA
Court Appointed Special Advocates, also known as CASAs, speak up for foster children in Cass County, Nebraska courts. We provide “best interest” advocacy to children from birth to age 19 who have been removed from their homes for abuse or neglect. CASA volunteers are citizens who are committed to ensuring that every child has the right to a safe and permanent home, as soon as possible. CASAs are appointed by a judge.
Advocating for Foster Children in Cass County
It’s easy for a child’s voice to get lost in a courtroom meant for adult problems. We help by getting to know a child (or children) and the adults in that child’s life. CASA volunteers ask case professionals for things children need. They advocate for services and write recommendations. The judge uses the CASA’s court reports during hearings to make decisions. Our judges have told us, “I read the CASA report first!”
Our Mission, Vision & Values
At Cass County CASA, our mission is advocating for abused and neglected children. Our vision is that every child in the Cass County Nebraska court system be assigned a CASA volunteer. In addition, we have three core values:
- Unbiased: CASA volunteers will remain objective in relationships with all parties.
- Respectful: Our advocates seek to be aware of the cultural and socio-economic differences represented in Nebraska.
- Accountable: Our CASAs’ intend to only include quality services that are standard across the state.
The History of CASA
A judge’s idea
In 1976, Seattle juvenile court judge David W. Soukup had insufficient information to make a life-changing decision for a 3-year-old girl who had suffered from child abuse. Inspired, the judge assigned trained volunteers to speak in the courtroom for specific children in the juvenile justice system.
CASS CASA’s History
Our own program started in 2007. Over the years, the number of children we advocate for has dramatically increased. In 2020, 18 volunteers advocated for 72 children. Sadly, more CASAs are needed to represent each child in the foster care system.