CASA Hancock County

Mission and Goals

Recruit, train, and support a diverse network of Court Appointed Special Advocate volunteers to provide abused and neglected children in our community with quality advocacy in the Hancock County court system and to secure them a safe, permanent, and nurturing home.

  • Have every abused and neglected child served by a CASA volunteer.
  • Professionally advocate for improved outcomes and in the best interest of each child [who has suffered abuse or neglect].
  • Continuously improve volunteer effectiveness and increase program quality.
  • Share our insights to improve child welfare laws and policies.

Krewe Of CASA Mardi Gras Gala

Thank you to all our sponsors


 


Children’s Defender

  


Children’s Advocate

Volunteer

What does it take to become a CASA Volunteer?

Personal qualities required include: A concern for children, a desire to help those children and your community, the ability to remain objective, sensitivity to people different from yourself, access to dependable transportation, a somewhat flexible schedule, and a willingness to commit and devote at least one year to complete an assigned case.

Steps in becoming a CASA volunteer:

  • Get an application by clicking volunteer at the bottom of this page. If you are unable to open document or would prefer that we mail you an application, please email us.
  • Fill out the application and return.
  • Interview with our director.
  • Training: CASA Volunteer training is spread over a three-week period and usually consists of two nights a week or one night and one Saturday a week. Training consists of 26 classroom hours and 4 hours of courtroom observation. CASA of Hancock County utilizes the interactive National CASA curriculum and guest speakers to help ensure volunteers feel prepared moving forward toward serving abused and neglected children.
  • After completing all training and background checks, volunteers are sworn in by our youth court judge as officers of the court.
  • Assigned first case and “Be the Voice of an Abused or Neglected Child.”

Volunteer

About

We see news stories every day about children taken from an abusive home, or because of the tragic loss of a parent-to illness or violence or incarceration. We assume there must be a program or system that will take care of these children and make sure they are treated with dignity, given a safe place they can recover from their hardship and be a child again.

But there is a story behind the story that few people speak about. It is the story of overburdened foster care and child welfare systems that–though full of well-intentioned and deeply committed people–cannot begin to meet the needs of the more than 660,000 children in foster care in the United States.

It is the story of a six year old girl who has moved to six group homes and three schools over the last two years. The story of a toddler separated from her brothers and sisters during the most vulnerable time in her life. The story of a child being handed all his belongings in a plastic bag at the age of 18, because he has “aged out” of the system.

It is a story that occurs over and over again in America’s foster care and child welfare system.

But these stories can have better endings, because there is a group of trained volunteers, appointed by judges to advocate for these children. People who fight for these abused and neglected children, to make sure their basic rights and essential needs don’t get overlooked or ignored by the system. These stories can have better endings because of people like you.

We are Court Appointed Special Advocates or CASA’s. This volunteer-powered network of committed people who believe society has a fundamental obligation to these children.