CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocate. A CASA is a volunteer that is appointed by a judge to watch over and advocate for abused and neglected children. CASAs are ordinary men and women that come from all walks of life, educational levels, and ethnic backgrounds, who volunteer to serve as an advocate for a child or sibling group. Today, the law requires that every child in foster care be appointed a CASA. The CASA acts as the voice for the child. When a child enters the child welfare system, suddenly there are many strangers in their lives. There are judges, police officers, lawyers, counselors, foster parents, and others. This child needs a voice to remind everyone that at the heart of it all, there is a child involved.
On May 15th the CASA program celebrated our 5th Annual CASA BBQ! We had around 40 CASA’s, CASA staff, family members and friends that attended the CASA BBQ. Thank you for everyone that attended and very special thank you to Craig Satter who hosted the event. Craig’s famous ribs were a BIG HIT again! We also recognized Barry Trapp, Janet Breshears and Amanda Ainsworth who recently finished their training to become CASA’s and who be sworn in as CASA’s on May 17th. Overall it was another amazing and successful CASA BBQ celebration!
We want to welcome and congratulate are new Court Appointed Special Advocates who were sworn in by Judge Hampton on May 17, 2018. From left to right: Barry Trapp, Miranda Ainsworth and Janet Breshears. Once again, welcome to our CASA family and we are excited that you will be able to advocate for our beautiful foster youth in Umatilla and Morrow Counties
Thank you everyone!
Our CASA program had the opportunity to take several to the National CASA Conference in Boston MA from March 10th to the 13th. In fact we had the most representatives in Oregon! At the National Conference there were nearly 1,300 people who gathered for an invigorating days of learning and collaboration. We had the occasion to meet and greet other CASA programs serving foster children throughout the US.
In addition we had the chance to experience incredible workshops and presenters. A few highlighted workshops included the following: Human Trafficking: Vulnerabilities and Survivor Needs, Why Must we see color? Toward Racialized Understanding of Children and their families, understanding the critical role CASA’s play in supporting youth and multiple systems and Advocating on behalf of LGBTQ youth and families. Moreover, we had the opportunity to hear from some inspiring keynote speakers that included Jenna Bush Hager (Author), Rodney Bullard, (VP of Community Affairs for Chick-fil-A Inc) and Dr Melanie Berry (Director of Innovation Strategies).
A special thank you to everyone that helped support our fundraisers to make this event happen, and a special “SHOUT OUT” to the Fetzer Foundation that financially supported many of our CASA’s to attend. Overall it was amazing conference and we are so looking for 2019 National CASA Conference in Atlanta GA!
We want to welcome Megan Croxford to the CASA family who was sworn in today 1/9/18 by Judge Hampton. Congratulations Megan and we are excited about you joining our CASA family and becoming a Powerful Voice for children in foster care!
Jesus Rome – CASA Manager at UMCHS
How do I become a CASA?
If you have a willingness to help children and be their voice, you can be a CASA. To become a CASA. you must complete the following 6 steps.
- Complete an application and interview.
- Pass a fingerprint and criminal history background check.
- Complete 36 hours of initial training and orientation. All of the training must be completed.
- Be sworn in as an officer of the court.
- Meet with the case manager for a case assignment.
- CONGRATULATIONS! You are now a CASA Volunteer.
Role of CASA?
When a CASA volunteer is appointed to a case, he or she is responsible for gathering information, and coordinating as many elements as possible, in order to secure for each child a safe, permanent home as quickly as possible. CASAs visit children regularly, review records, interview parents and relatives, consult with teachers and foster care providers. They advocate for the children and families to gain access to needed support and services. They appear in court to advocate on behalf of the child’s needs and best interests.