CASA Lake County exists to promote and protect the best interest of children who have been abused or neglected, by training volunteers to advocate for them in courts, in schools and in our community to help them find safe, permanent and loving homes.
We envision a day when every child in state care has a powerful voice in the court and in the community.
Who we help
Every year, more than 1,500 Lake County children are reported abused or neglected. Some of them must be removed from their homes because it isn’t safe for them to remain. Many enter foster care and wait for the complex, often lengthy process in which a judge will determine where they may safely and permanently live. During this time they may move from one temporary home to another, never knowing what will happen next. This is where a CASA volunteer steps in.
Who are our Advocates?
CASA empowers everyday citizens as appointed members of the court. Volunteers are teachers, business people, retirees, stay-at-home moms, grandparents, college students; extraordinary people who want to make certain the voices of abused children are heard. Being a CASA does not require a specialized degree or legal experience.
Why a Child Needs a CASA
They are investigators. Depending on the case, a volunteer may be asked to investigate the home life and history of child whose parents or guardians seek to maintain parental rights. They will talk to the child, their siblings, teachers, friends, neighbors, close relatives, the police and other related individuals who could shed light on a child’s home life and behavior. They will meet with caseworkers and share information to aid in the development of a plan for family reunification.
They act as monitors. A CASA volunteer will monitor the progress of the court case, and how well a child is doing in their temporary placement, whether it be a foster home, group home, residential treatment center, or relative placement. A CASA is notified and present for all hearings and case reviews
They advocate for the child. CASA volunteers can sometimes seek out or recommend suitable placements. CASA volunteers have actually found relatives willing to take children when there seemed to be no hope left. Volunteers work to help serve the immediate needs of their children. They can help children receive tutoring when they feel they have fallen behind in their schooling. They also advocate for any needs like medical treatment, therapy, special education, clothing, or school supplies that the child may have. If a child is available for adoption, a CASA volunteer will try to learn all about the prospective adoptive families to ensure safe, permanent placement.
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