Court Appointed Special Advocates, known as CASA, was founded in 1976 as a way for children to be fairly and safely represented in legal cases. At CASA of Sangamon County, our advocates are highly trained in cases focusing on the well-being of abused and neglected children. Our CASA advocates are court-appointed volunteers who dedicate their time to representing Guardian ad Litem (or GAL) for foster children and their families in court. As a result, our advocates are consistent figures in the lives of abused and/or neglected children and make a huge difference in legal cases throughout Springfield, IL.
What is a CASA Advocate?
A CASA advocate is a trained, court-appointed volunteer dedicated to helping children of abuse and/or neglect find safe and trustworthy care when they cannot speak for themselves. As CASA of Sangamon County, our advocates are with the child and their welfare caseworker the entire length of the case to ensure that any decisions being made on their behalf are completed with the child’s best interest in mind. Our certified advocates are dedicated to being a constant positive figure in the lives of foster children throughout Springfield, IL.
How Do CASA Advocates Benefit Children?
At CASA of Sangamon County, our local children rely on the compassion and dedication of our volunteers to advocate on their behalf. Often referred to as the “eyes and ears” of children in legal cases, CASA advocates in Springfield, IL represent children of abuse and/or neglect as a GAL, or neutral investigator, for their guardianship cases. Not only are our advocates beneficial in the courtroom, but they also offer compassion and consistency that many foster children lack.
Often, caseworkers and lawyers for legal cases involving children of abuse and/or neglect change multiple times, leaving kids and their families unsure of the next step in their case. CASA advocates will be there every step of the way for the entire length of your case and often as role models outside the court.
CASA Advocates Help Children in Foster Care
Children in foster care do not always have proper representation regarding temporary placements or adoptions. A court-appointed advocate at CASA of Sangamon County has experience representing abused and/or neglected children in and out of the foster care system. Our citizen-trained advocates become the eyes and ears of neglected children; we will work with caseworkers and legal experts to ensure their living placements are of certain standards while representing their needs as a GAL in court. Studies have shown that children are half as likely to re-enter the foster system if they have a CASA advocate to help make the right decisions for their health, safety, and happiness.
CASA Advocates Protect Children of Abuse
Children of abuse and/or neglect is taken into the foster care system are experiencing a whirlwind of changes to their environment and emotional state. At CASA of Sangamon County, we offer legal representation from court-appointed advocates to protect the well-being and rights of children throughout Springfield, IL.
A CASA advocate will consistently meet with children and their caseworker or lawyer to guarantee the progressive movement of each guardianship case. Many children of abuse and/or neglect must be transferred to trustworthy family members and need consistent advocating to ensure their best interest is always considered in court. If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering, call 217.522.2241.