It can be confusing to understand the meaning of the organization acronyms we hear every day. We are not really sure who they are and what they really do. That includes CASA. Just what do those letters stand for? What do they do? What services do they provide? Are they necessary, and if they are, is there any way we can help?
CASA stands for court-appointed special advocates.
Unfortunately, each year, children in northeast Oklahoma are taken from their homes because of evidence of abuse and neglect. This happens, even in the best of communities. In many cases, it goes unnoticed by us, as we're busy living our busy everyday lives.
These children are uprooted from the only family they've known, taken out of schools and away from friends. In short, their worlds are turned upside down.
That's where CASA of Northeast Oklahoma comes in. We make sure these children don't face dependency court and foster care alone. We support and promote court-appointed volunteer advocacy so every child in northeast Oklahoma who has experienced abuse or neglect can be safe, have a permanent home and have the opportunity to thrive. CASA volunteers and staff work every day to help change a child's story. The CASA movement is central to fulfilling society's fundamental obligation by making sure a qualified, compassionate adult will fight for and protect a child's right to be safe, to be treated with dignity and respect and learn and grow in the safe embrace of a loving family.
What does a CASA volunteer look like?
Like you, they are ordinary citizens who care about children and have volunteered their time and talent to be trained, background checked, sworn in by a judge and supervised by CASA staff to speak up in court for the best interests of abused and neglected children.
Question: I am really busy and I don't know if I would have enough time to help. How much time does it take?
Answer: All of our volunteers are busy people like you. They make CASA a priority because it is important to them. To become a CASA volunteer you complete an online application, screening interview, extensive background check process and 30 hours Pre-Service Training. CASA volunteers must be at least 21 years of age and able to relate to people of different cultural backgrounds. To be successful as a volunteer, you'll spend approximately 10 hours per month on your CASA work. Most of your work can be scheduled at the times convenient for you.
Question: CASA sounds like a great cause, but at this time I don't have enough time to volunteer. Is there any other way I can help?
Answer: There are many ways to support CASA of Northeast Oklahoma. We need board members and workgroup members. You can attend or help with special events. Financial donations are always welcome. Please visit our website at www.casneok.org and click on the Donate Now button.
Question: What's the history of CASA?
Answer: Incorporated in May 1995, CASA (then Tri-County CASA) was formed through the leadership of Judge Dynda Pst (ret.) and Judge Terry McBride (ret.) and other concerned citizens in the 12th Judicial District, serving Rogers, Mayes, and Craig County. Now as CASA of Northeast Oklahoma, the organization is a regional program serving six counties (Craig, Delaware, Mayes, Ottawa, Rogers and Washington) in Oklahoma, plus the Quapaw Nation and Shawnee Tribal Courts.
CASA of Northeast Oklahoma envisions a world where every abused and neglected child has a CASA volunteer appointed to represent his or her best interests, a world where all children have a safe, permanent home and where children experience improved wellbeing.
For more information about engagement with CASA of Northeast Oklahoma, or if you have other questions, please contact Mark Ogle, Resource Development & Marketing Coordinator at 918-694-2510 or email@example.com.