A CASA (Court Appinted Special Advocate) is a trained, citizen volunteer appointed by the Juvenile Court to ensure that the needs and interests of abused, neglected, uncontrolled or wayward children are being met. CASAs are assigned to dependent children who are under the Juvenile Court jurisdiction and are assigned at the discretion of the Juvenile Court.
Requirements of a CASA:
- Make a commitment to serve as a CASA for a minimum of one year
- Be 21 years of age (some exceptions allowed for students)
- Be willing to donate approximately 6-10 hours per month
- Attend training sessions and review all training material provided by the CASA program
- Maintain strict confidentiality
- Maintain objectivity and professionalism in dealing with children, parents, and all other parties involved with the case
- Possess written and verbal skills
The mission of CASA of South Central Nebraska is the provide trained, court appointed, community volunteers to advocate for a quick, safe, permanent homer for all abused and neglected children in Adams, Clay, Nuckolls and Webster counties.
In 1997, a Seattle juvenile court judge concerned about making drastic decisions with insufficient information conceived the idea of citizen volunteers speaking up for the best interests of abused and neglected children in the courtroom. From that first program has grown a network of more than 933 CASA programs that are recruiting, training and supporting volunteers in 49 states and the District of Columbia.
CASA of South Central Nebraska was established in 2000 when Adams County CASA (1992) and Clay County CASA (1994) merged. Nuckolls County (2007) and Webster County (2011) were added to the program.