The immediate impact of child abuse and neglect is tragic as it triggers long-term consequences and instability for children as they grow and mature. Child maltreatment is frequently hidden, regularly occurs over time, and is usually preventable. Every child is one caring adult away from a future where they can thrive, and a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) is their champion. By investigating the child’s case, the advocates provide the child with a voice. To make this impact, Henrico CASA recruits, screens, trains, and supervises local citizens who become volunteer advocates dedicated to representing the needs of up to 400 abused and neglected children each year. Our 120 advocates become the eyes and ears of the judges and keep them informed about every aspect of each child’s life throughout the court process. Henrico CASA is a part of the solution ensuring that no child re-experiences abuse. Without a volunteer advocate, hundreds of abused children will not have a strong, knowledgeable voice to represent their best interests.
Henrico County Court Appointed Special Advocates, Inc.
The plight of children in foster care and the family court system is one of our biggest human dilemmas. Henrico CASA believes that all children have the fundamental right to be safe, to be treated with dignity and respect, and to grow up in the embrace of a loving family. Through training community volunteers, our program harvests the power of many to economically serve children involved in the courts due to abuse and neglect. Our advocates investigate the child?s situation and represent their best interest through the life of the case ensuring it is brought to a swift and appropriate conclusion.
Court Appointed Special Advocates
Henrico County Court Appointed Special Advocates, Inc. is a 501(c)3 nonprofit child advocacy organization implemented through training and development of community volunteers, for the sole purpose of providing comprehensive advocacy services for every child victim in Henrico County. The final goal is to improve the quality of life of these children and ensure that they are eventually placed in safe, permanent homes. A CASA volunteer provides a judge with a carefully researched background of the child to help the court make a sound decision about that child’s future. Each case is as unique as the child involved. The CASA evaluates if it is in the child’s best interest to stay with his or her parents or guardians, be placed in foster care, or be freed for adoption. The CASA makes recommendations to the judge and follows through on the case until it is permanently resolved. CASA volunteers offer children trust and advocacy during complex legal proceedings. They explain to the child the events that are happening, the reasons they are in court, and the roles the judge, lawyers, and social workers play. CASA volunteers also encourage the child to express his or her own opinions and hopes, while remaining objective observers. CASA has been endorsed by the American Bar Association, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court judges, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention of the U.S. Department of Justice.