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The Child and Court Advocacy Group assists children of abuse and neglect and the court by thoroughly exploring each child’s individual situation and background, resulting in objective recommendations to the court. The CCAG listens and communicates impartially, allowing children to communicate openly about their needs.
Court Appointed Special Advocates are trained community volunteers appointed by district court Judges to speak for the best interests of children who are brought before the court for reasons of abuse or neglect.
A Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) often referred to as a volunteer Guardian Ad Litem, is an official part of judicial proceedings, working alongside attorneys and social workers. By handling only two or three cases at a time the CASA has time to thoroughly explore the history of each assigned case. The volunteer talks with the child , parents , family members, neighbors, school officials, doctors and others involved in the child's background who might have facts about the case. The volunteer reviews all court facts about the case and the volunteer also reviews all court documents pertaining to the case. He or she then is expected to submit formal reports to the Judge at every scheduled hearing/ review. The CASA continues to monitor the case to assure that the judicial and child welfare systems are moving ahead to secure a safe, permanent home for the child, and that court-ordered services are provided to the child and family. The CASA can be an invaluable resource for the attorney for the child and social worker in reaching their goals for permanency.