The mission of CASA for Clermont Kids is to advocate for the best interests of abused, neglected and dependent children who have been introduced into Clermont County Juvenile Court. A non-profit agency based on the belief that children are entitled to a safe, loving and permanent home, CASA recruits and trains community involved citizens to volunteer as Guardians ad Litem who independently work in the court system and in collaboration with involved agencies and community resources to serve as the child’s advocate and court representative.
How Do CASA Volunteers Help Children?
CASA volunteers are appointed by the judge to advocate for abused and neglected children, to make sure they don’t get lost in the overburdened legal and social service system or languish in inappropriate group or foster homes. Volunteers stay with each case until it is closed and the child is placed in a safe, permanent home. For many abused children, their CASA volunteer will be the one constant adult presence in their lives.
Who Are CASA Volunteers?
In 2013, CASA for Clermont Kids served 231 abused and neglected children through the dedication of 55 CASA volunteers. CASA volunteers are everyday citizens who have undergone screening and training with their local CASA/GAL program. Our CASA volunteers come from all walks of life including stay at home moms, firefighters, retired teachers, bankers, construction workers, and nurses just to name a few. It is not necessary to have a legal or child welfare background, just a desire to make a difference in the life of a child. Because there are not enough CASA volunteers to represent all of the children in care, judges will also assign cases to attorney Guardians ad Litem. In 2013, CASA was only able to serve approximately 50% of the children in need in our community. CASA for Clermont Kids’ goal is to serve 100% of the children in our community who are in need through the help of our community minded volunteers and supporters.
Who Are the Children CASA Volunteers Help?
Judges appoint CASA volunteers to represent the best interests of children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect. Each year, in Clermont County at any given time there are approximately 350 children who are in foster care. This number does not include the number of children who remain in their homes with their guardians under court and Children’s Services supervision. This service allows the children to remain in their own homes with little disruption when the environment is safe yet extra support and supervision is needed for the caregivers.