June Nelson, Executive Director
118 Ridley Ave
LaGrange, GA 30240
FAQ'S (Frequently Asked Questions)
What does the acronymn CASA represent?
CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocate.
How is a CASA volunteer different from a social worker?
Social workers are employed by the state and often assigned to many cases at a time. The social worker is responsible for helping an entire family, which includes setting up individual services for family members. A CASA volunteer is the advocate for the child, is not paid, works with only a few cases at a time and does not set up services. The CASA volunteer does not replace the social worker on a case; he or she is an independent officer of the court and works within the child welfare system to advocate forwhat is in the best interest of the children.
How is a CASA volunteer different from an attorney?
A CASA volunteer does not provide legal representation for a child in the courtroom; he or she does not replace an attorney. CASA volunteers operate as lay guardian ad litems (GALs). A GAL can be an attorney, a CASA volunteer, or both.
Is being a CASA volunteer the same as being a mentor?
CASA volunteers are only appointed to children who have come to the attention of the juvenile court system due to abuse or neglect. Like a mentoring program, the CASA volunteer does develop a relationship with the child through frequent contact; however, the primary role of the CASA volunteer is to gather information about the child, write reports to the court and attend court hearings. The CASA program is not a mentoring program. There is also a policy to not transport children within all affiliate CASA programs.
Who do CASA volunteers serve and how are they appointed to cases?
CASA volunteers serve children who have been removed from their homes as a result of abuse and/or neglect. They range in age from 0-17, come from all races and ethnicities and have one thing in common - they have been traumatized at the hands of those who were supposed to be their protectors. Once the children are taken into DFCS (Department of Family and Children Services) custody, their cases are overseen by judges in the juvenile courts who appoint CASA volunteers to provide recommendations about what is in the best interests of the children - now and for the future.
How do I become a CASA volunteer?
Please visit our volunteer page for more information on becoming a CASA volunteer.