The mission of the Onondaga Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program is to speak for the best interests of abused and neglected children in court. Through a collaborative approach, the Onondaga CASA program promotes and supports quality volunteer representation for children in the courts and advocates for a network of resources to provide each child with a safe, permanent and nurturing home.
CASA volunteers are assigned to an abuse or neglect case by a judge. They conduct thorough research on the background of the case, reviewing documents, interviewing everyone involved, including the child. They make reports to the court, providing the judge with information that will help him or her make an informed decision. CASA volunteers can be instrumental in assuring that a child or family receives services which the court has ordered - things like substance counseling or special education testing. During the life of a case, a CASA volunteer monitors the child’s situation to make sure she or he remains safe and obtains a permanent home.