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Who We Are

Every year in Douglas County, dozens of children are placed in foster care. Due to abuse or neglect, they are removed from their homes and taken to a safe environment, often a place they've never seen before. Suddenly, they are surrounded by strangers - foster parents, social workers, lawyers, and a judge. Their future seems completely uncertain. They are separated from their toys, pets, family and friends. Their world will never be the same. This is where CASA volunteers step in to help. CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocate. A CASA volunteer is a trained volunteer who advocates for the best interests of a child who has been abused and/or neglected and is under the protection of the court. CASA serves children from birth to age 18.

CASA volunteers develop a one-on-one relationship with the child, serving as a friend, mentor and advocate. They investigate the facts about the child's situation through interviews and visits with the child's family, caregivers, teachers, lawyers, social workers, therapists, and other professionals. CASA volunteers report factual information and thoughtful recommendations to the Judge via official court reports. They make sure the child's physical, educational, medical and emotional needs are being met and that they remain safe while they are in state custody. CASA volunteers bring stability to the life of a child by staying with the case - and with the child - until the case is completed, and the child has a stable, safe place to live.

What We Do

Douglas County CASA provides comprehensive advocacy for abused and neglected children in need of care and under the protection of the court system. Our trained volunteers investigate, facilitate, monitor and mentor. Through compassion and commitment, they are dedicated to be the child's voice through their journey to a safe, loving permanent home. Douglas County CASA was founded in 1991 by Judge Jean Shepherd. Nationally, the CASA program was founded in 1977 by Seattle Judge David Soukup. There are now more than 930 CASA programs nationwide, with 24 programs in Kansas.

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