What is Southeast CASA?
CASA stands for “Court-Appointed Special Advocates”, and our CASA volunteers make a difference in the lives of abused and neglected children. A nonprofit program, Southeast CASA trains, assigns and coaches its CASA volunteers to advocate in court for children who are involved in the foster care and juvenile court systems. A CASA advocate promotes and protects the best interests of the child, getting to know the child well and meeting regularly with any adults involved in the child’s life. The CASA volunteer submits regular reports to update the Court on the child as well as any concerns regarding the progress of the parents. The goal of the Court is to determine the permanent home for the child. Ideally, that is with the parents, who have made the needed improvements that ensure the child’s safety. In cases in which that is not possible, the Court must have the information necessary to determine an alternative home for the child in which he or she can thrive.
Southeast CASA has served Yankton County since October 2011 and expanded its services to Clay and Bon Homme counties in July of 2015. CASA volunteers provide an average of eight hours of time to their cases each month, and a typical case lasts about eleven months.
Ways to be involved with Southeast CASA:
If you are over 21 years old, you can volunteer to be a special advocate. You must complete a 30-hour training course, pass background checks, and participate in an in-depth personal interview. The most important qualifications for a CASA volunteer are a caring heart and the desire to make a difference in the life of a child. We usually offer two training courses for new CASA volunteers each year.
We are also in need of individuals who would like to volunteer as Board members for our program. In this way, you can make a difference in the lives of abused and neglected children by supporting the program through governance, policy setting, and financial oversight.
Here's how you can get involved today:
Call Southeast CASA at (605) 760-1766, or email them, to apply to become a special advocate or to learn more about how you can get involved with our activities, fundraisers, or Board of Directors.