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Court Appointed Special Advocates
(CASA) volunteers are ordinary citizens. No legal background is needed to become a volunteer. Advocates are required to complete CASA training before assignment of a case. Each CASA receives 18 hours of training on the role and responsibilities of a CASA, the court system, the child protection system, and understanding children and families.
Volunteer training occurs three times per year: spring, summer, and fall.
CASA of the Fourth Judicial District serves children in Anderson, Coffey, Franklin, and Osage counties. As advocates, we serve abused or neglected children by providing recommendations to the court which are in the best interest of the child. With these recommendations, it is our goal to promote that each child has a safe, permanent, and nurturing environment to grow.
The need for advocates in the Fourth Judicial District is well documented; between 2000-2001 there have been over 220 new child in need of care cases (CINC) filed in the Fourth Judicial District.
The judges in the Fourth Judicial District have the ability to request CASA's involvement with any case pending in the court system, primarily CINC cases. Preliminary findings show that children who have been assigned a CASA tend to spend less time in court and less time in the foster care system than those children without a CASA.
CASA has been endorsed by the American Bar Association and The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention of the U.S. Department of Justice has named CASA an "Exemplary National Program in Juvenile Delinquency Prevention." In addition, CASA of the 4th Judicial District is a member of the United Way