To build, support, and advocate for a statewide network of Court-Appointed Volunteers to speak for abused and neglected children.
Every Louisiana child be assured a safe and permanent home
- We value the worth of children and families
- We value a child’s right to a safe and permanent home
- We value and support local CASA programs in their efforts to serve abused and neglected children through best practices and quality advocacy
- We value policy and practices that support the priorities and needs of abused and neglected children
- We value responsible stewardship of association resources to provide services to the CASA network
- We value the strength and uniqueness that defines the cultural and racial diversity of Louisiana’s communities and families
- We value the opportunity to promote and participate in collaborative efforts which support the best interest and welfare of all of Louisiana’s children and their families
THE ROLE OF CASA
A CASA volunteer is a trained community member who is appointed by a judge to represent the best interests of a child in court. CASA volunteers are assigned to the case of an abused or neglected child who is in the child welfare system. The CASA volunteer is usually assigned to only one child. The volunteer continues until the case is permanently resolved. One of the primary benefits of the CASA program is that unlike other court principals who often rotate cases, the CASA volunteer is a consistent figure in the proceedings and provides continuity for the child.
CASA in Louisiana
The first CASA program in Louisiana began in 1986 in Orleans Parish. Currently there are 17 programs serving 58 parishes in Louisiana. CASA programs operate in 39 judicial districts.
The Louisiana CASA Association (LACASA) grew out of an informal association of CASA program directors throughout the state. In 1994, LACASA was incorporated as a private 501(c)(3) organization. Membership is open to all CASA programs active in Louisiana that are members of National CASA. Membership categories include 1.) CASA volunteer, 2.) Individual, 3.) Associate, 4.) CASA program, and 5.) Honorary. All existing CASA programs are members of NCASAA and LACASA, and participate in the organization’s activities.
HISTORY OF CASA
In 1977, a Seattle juvenile court judge concerned about making significant decisions about children 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 almost 1000 CASA and guardian ad litem programs that are recruiting, training and supporting volunteers in 49 states and the District of Columbia. Read more about the history of National CASA here.
IMPACT OF THE CASA VOLUNTEER
Nearly 8,000 Louisiana children experience abuse or neglect each year. Instead of playing with neighbors and making happy family memories, they’re attending court hearings, adjusting to new foster homes and transitioning to new schools. That’s a heavy burden for a child to carry. With a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) dedicated to their case, Louisiana’s most vulnerable children will have someone speaking up for their best interests. With your support, more children will have the opportunity to thrive in a safe and loving home. CASA volunteers are transforming lives and investing in Louisiana’s future.
©2018 Louisiana CASA Association.