Each year, thousands of children are thrust into court through no fault of their own. Some are victims of violence, psychological torment, or sexual abuse. Others have been neglected or abandoned by their own parents. Most are frightened and confused. Often these children also become victims of the overburdened child welfare system - a complex legal network of lawyers, social workers, and judges who are too frequently overworked to give thorough, detailed attention to each child.
In these cases it is essential that a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) be assigned by the juvenile court judge to advocate for the child’s best interest.
CASA volunteers are assigned to an abuse or neglect case by a judge. They conduct thorough research on the background of the case, reviewing documents, interviewing everyone involved, including the child. They make reports to the court, recommending what they believe is best for the child, providing the judge with information that will help him in making an informed decision. CASAs can be instrumental in assuring that a child or family receives services which the court has ordered - things like substance abuse counseling or special education testing. During the life of a case, the advocate monitors the child's situation to make sure he remains safe. CASAs may be the only constant the child knows as she moves through the labyrinth of the child welfare system. Court Appointed Special Advocates make a difference in children’s lives.
Ocmulgee CASA, Inc. serves the deprived children of the eight-county Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit. These counties include: Baldwin, Wilkinson, Jones, Hancock, Morgan, Greene, Putnam, and Jasper. Volunteers are always needed. Please visit our volunteer page
if you are interested in becoming a trained volunteer CASA.
For additional information please visit the Georgia CASA website
and the National CASA website