CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates. CASA volunteers speak up and advocate for abused and neglected children in the courtroom and other settings. Arkansas CASA is part of a a national network of 955 programs that recruit, train and support volunteers to represent the interests of these children. .
Arkansas State CASA is a court-based organization located in Little Rock. We are committed to helping create and support CASA programs throughout our state. Our mission is to foster a network of interactive, yet independent, programs that are well-managed and accountable to children’s needs. We currently have 25 CASA programs around the state.
In Arkansas alone there are approximately 58,000 investigations of child abuse and maltreatment each year. A total of about 9,500 cases are confirmed to be abuse: physical, sexual, or a combination of both. Read more about Arkansas statistics and how abuse impacts children.
CASA is integral to making sure the voices of all children are heard. There is no yellow brick road for children in abusive and neglected environments to find a way out. A CASA advocate is there to listen, help, and most importantly, speak up. Children in these situations have a lot to say, but they need someone to help them have their voice heard. Someone to protect them from getting lost in the system, someone to ensure that their needs are being met - an advocate. CASA advocates help fulfill one of society’s most important missions, to make sure each child in our community has access to a safe environment.
These children are all around us, but without CASA, they are often left in the shadows, confused and scared in a system that is complicated and unpredictable even to adults! He may be the lonely child at the bus stop on your way to work or the quiet girl in your grandson’s classroom. CASA advocates may be the only stable person in this child’s life. Imagine being removed from your family as a child. Would you need a dependable ally? Would you want an advocate?
Want to help? Find out about ways you can make a difference and join a network of caring individuals working together for kids. No special experience or legal skills are required. All you need is common sense and a passion to help kids, do what's right, and make a difference in your community.
What We DO:
- CASA advocates speak up for abused and neglected kids
- We help to ensure children in foster care have a voice
- We collaborate with other child-service agencies
What we DON'T DO (common misperceptions):
- CASA is NOT part of DCFS/DHS or any other state or government service agency
- CASA does NOT remove children from their homes nor make decisions on their placements.
- CASA volunteers are NOT foster parents nor caregivers - they ARE advocates
- CASA does NOT provide services for children (We DO help to ensure that children get the services they need)!
- CASA advocates are NOT mentors - we take an active role in making sure children don't get lost in "the system"
- CASA does NOT provide shelter or housing for children