Children On Waiting List
The Vanderburgh County CASA program is a volunteer model. There are 141 active volunteers. Vanderburgh County CASA has been appointed more than 1,230 children by the court, including more than 400 new children (cases).
- To research each child’s case and conduct an independent assessment of the child’s needs and interests.
- To communicate the child’s needs at the court hearing and ensure the child’s legal rights are protected.
- Monitor parents’ and the Department of Child Services’ compliance to the court order and initiate proceedings if necessary.
The most important qualification for a prospective volunteer is the desire to help children. As a volunteer you will be the voice of an abused or neglected child who needs to be heard throughout the legal process. In order to be eligible, a potential volunteer must:
- Be 21 years of age or older.
- Have a minimum of a high school diploma or a GED.
- Have a clean criminal history
- Obtain references (personal and/or professional).
- Complete a screening interview with CASA staff.
- Complete 30 hours of pre-service training.
- Complete 12 hours of in-service per year.
If you are willing and able to meet all these requirements, please fill out this form for more information.
Last year, nearly 75,000 CASA and guardian ad litem (GAL) volunteers helped 238,000 abused and neglected children find safe, permanent homes. CASA volunteers are everyday citizens who have undergone screening and training with their local CASA/GAL program. Locally, there are over 141 volunteers who more than 1,230 kids. Together local CASA volunteers have work over a 18,000+ hours.
Judges appoint CASA volunteers to represent the best interests of children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect. Each year, more than 600,000 children experience foster care in this country. Because there are not enough CASA volunteers to represent all of the children in care, judges typically assign CASA volunteers to their most difficult cases.
Indiana legislation mandates that every abused and/or neglected child be brought into the Juvenile Court system be represented by a CASA volunteer. This mandate is a clear recognition of the value that the state government places in our organization. Because a CASA advocate is court ordered for all abuse and neglect cases, program needs have greatly increased. With our current volunteer manpower, we can only serve about 1/3 of the children who need an advocate. Currently over 350 children are on a waiting list for an advocate to be appointed to their case.
Independent national research identified the effectiveness of CASA volunteers involved in abuse and neglect CHINS, Child In Need of Services, cases. Among their findings they reported that children with a CASA volunteer are less likely to spend time in long-term foster care, are less likely to re-enter the foster care system, and have more services ordered for both the child and the family. CASA works in conjunction with the Department of Child Services (DCS) and the court to ensure the best possible outcomes for children and their families in Vanderburgh County.