What does casa stand for?
CASA is an acronym for "Court Appointed Special Advocate" for children
What is CASA?
Genesee County CASA is a private, non-profit organzation whose purpose is to train and supervise a diverse group of volunteers to advocate for children who have been abused and/or neglected. These children are at risk of being removed from their homes or have already been placed into the foster care system. CASA's goal is to ensure that all of these children have safe and permanent homes as quickly as possible.
What does a CASA do?
Once a volunteer has received throughout training and been sworn in by our local Family Court Judge, they are assigned to their very own case. The CASA meets and talks to parents, foster parents, teachers, principals, social workers, counselors, case workers, the child's attorney, medical professionals and anyone else who may have relevant information on the well-being of the child(ren). The CASA then gathers all factual information and writes a report to the court approximately every 60 days which is seen by all parties involved in the case, including the Judge. With more information in hand, the Judge can make the best informed decision as possible as to what should happen next in the lives of the children involved.
How does a CASA become involved on a case?
The only way a CASA can become involved in a case is through assignment by The Honorable Judge Adams, our local Family Court Judge. At times, attorneys for the children have been known to also request a CASA be assigned to their case.
How large is the CASA program?
Genesee County CASA for Children serves children from birth to age 18 within Genesee County, NY. We have only one paid staff member, our Executive Director, whose responsibility is to recruit, screen, train and supervise the current 11 volunteer advocates. Annually, our dedicated volunteers serve between 50-60 children. Genesee County CASA for Children is also a part of National CASA as well as the NYS CASA Association. There are CASA programs across 36 counties in New York State. In the United States, there are 950 CASA programs in 49 states with the first CASA program beginning in Seattle in 1977.
How is CASA funded?
Genesee County CASA, Inc. is an independent 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization. We are very fortunate to receive funding through grants from a variety of foundations and local community donors. Genesee County Family Court provides office space and support services at no cost to our program. We do receive a limited amount of funding from the Office of Court Administration, however, government funding makes up a very small percentage of the total funding that we receive. This program is also supported by local foundations such as the Batavia Rotary, United Way of Greater Rochester, Genesee County Youth Bureau, The New York Bar Foundation and the Kelly for Kids Foundation. Our largest source of funding is through our annual fundraisers; including our CASAblanca Casino Night event, our letter writing campaign, and our House Party in December.