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To provide trained community volunteers to promote the best interests of abused and neglected children who are under the supervision of the juvenile court system and who are residents of Columbia and/or Sauk Counties. Once appointed to a child's case, CASA volunteers serve as the "eyes and ears" of the courts by helping to ensure that each child is safe, is receiving the necessary services, and will eventually live in a permanent home.
The Columbia-Sauk CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) Program serves abused and neglected children by providing highly trained volunteers who can advocate for a child while the child is under the court's supervision. These children are usually in foster care, which often includes placement with a relative. The cases are often complex, lengthy, and involve multiple children. A child who has a CASA volunteer advocate is more likely to be placed earlier in a safe, permanent home than if no CASA volunteer is involved. The national average for children in foster care is 28 months. The children who have a CASA volunteer in Columbia and Sauk Counties average a foster care stay of only 20.8 months. The sooner these children are able to be in a safe permanent home, whether with rehabilitated biological family members or an adoptive family, the more likely that they will have positive outcomes. Emotionally stable and healthy children will have a chance to grow into emotionally stable and healthy adults, benefiting our workforce, our communities and our future. To achieve these outcomes, CASA and its volunteers partner with the court systems, the county child protective services programs, the child's teacher, doctor, counselor and birth family and foster families to represent the best interest of the child.
- Alyssa Mueller
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