The mission of CASA New Orleans is to provide trained community volunteers to advocate for the best interest of abused and neglected children in court. Our goal is to ensure that every child has a safe, permanent, nurturing home. At any given time we have about 100 children in foster care in Orleans Parish. Each of their stories is unique and nuanced. That is why CASA exists. CASA is central to fulfilling society’s most 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 to learn and grow in the safe embrace of a loving family. CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocate for Children. Every Advocate is just a regular citizen like you. Volunteers, appointed by the courts, who have been trained in how to advocate for neglected and abused children in the foster care and family court systems. They are trained to assure the rights and needs of these children are at the forefront of decisions that are being made by judges and lawyers and family members.
CASA provides the only one to one services for children in foster care. Each Advocate develops a relationship with their assigned youth and thoroughly researches the case in order to provide unbiased recommendations to the court. CASA Advocates visit the children, write court reports, and participate in hearings and court meetings. Because they are court-appointed, they have access to medical and educational records relevant to their child’s case. A CASA volunteer’s role is to understand all aspects of the case in order to advocate for the best interest of the child, and to help that child learn how to advocate for themself.