(WTRF) – When someone thinks of helping an endangered child, their mind probably first goes to Child Protective services, but there’s an additional organization that helps out as well called CASA.
CASA for Children Inc. Represents children in Ohio, Marshall, Wetzel, and Tyler Counties.
CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates and they utilize in Volunteers to represent children who have been removed from their home due to abuse and neglect allegations.
Once the court starts getting involved, Mom gets an attorney, Dad gets an attorney, and in the state of West Virginia a child gets an attorney and if there’s a CASA program then a CASA is appointed also.Susan Harrison, Executive Director, CASA for Children Inc.
In the Mountain State have ten programs that serve 33 out of the 55 counties. Their goal is to eventually serve all counties in the state.
What makes the program unique is the volunteers they have for the children along with a guardian ad litem to give the child everything they could need.
Guardian ad litem have the expertise in the law and the CASA has the expertise in the child part of it. So, being able to know how to talk to kids and to be able to sit down and play with them and learn about their lives, partnered with understanding the law aspect of it makes a really perfect partnership.Susan Harrison, Executive Director, CASA for Children Inc.
Harrison said the number of children entering the welfare system has gone up significantly due to abuse and neglect situations.
A lot of that is with the opioid epidemic that we are seeing an increase in case loads across the state. So, CASA is an important organization that helps advocate for the kids and what they need during this process.Susan Harrison, Executive Director, CASA for Children Inc.