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A CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) is a community volunteer who is specially trained and appointed by a judge to represent and advocate for a child's best interests within the child protection system. CASA volunteers undergo thorough screening and training processes to ensure they are equipped to fulfill their responsibilities effectively.

Once appointed, a CASA volunteer is dedicated to advocating for one child or a set of siblings at a time. This focused approach allows them to provide personalized advocacy and attention tailored to the specific needs of the child or sibling group they are assigned to. CASA volunteers work diligently to ensure that each child's needs are addressed and that they receive the support necessary to navigate the complexities of the child protection system.

One of the key roles of a CASA volunteer is to provide individualized attention to the child throughout their involvement in the system. They work to build a relationship with the child, understand their circumstances, and advocate on their behalf in court proceedings and other relevant settings. CASA volunteers remain with the child until they are placed in a safe and permanent home, and the case is successfully resolved and closed.

Overall, CASA volunteers play a crucial role in safeguarding the well-being and rights of children who are involved in the child protection system, ensuring they receive the support and advocacy they need to thrive.

Children living in poverty are reported to experience more abuse and neglect. Experiencing poverty can place a lot of stress on families, which may increase the risk of child abuse and neglect. Rates of child abuse and neglect are 5 times higher for children in families with low socioeconomic status. It is important not to mistake poverty for neglect. — Child maltreatment is costly.
In the United States, the total lifetime economic burden associated with child abuse and neglect was about $592 billion in 2018. This economic burden rivals the cost of other high-profile public health problems, such as heart disease and diabetes.

RESOURCE • (published: January 29, 2024)

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