Nearly 700,000 children are victims of abuse or neglect each year. Instead of playing with neighbors and making happy family memories, they’re attending court hearings, adjusting to new foster homes and transitioning to new schools. That’s a heavy burden for a child to carry. With a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) or guardian ad litem (GAL) volunteer dedicated to their case, America’s most vulnerable children will have someone speaking up for their best interests. With your support, more children will have the opportunity to thrive in a safe and loving home.
Interim Executive Director Norma Thomas is a retired educator and former District Technology Coordinator of Jackson County Public Schools. She was also Business and Technology Manager of Peoples Rural Telephone Cooperative in McKee, Kentucky and most recently served as a member of the Board of Directors of CASA of Knox and Laurel Counties, Inc. Norma holds a B.S. from Cumberland College, M.A. from Eastern Kentucky University and a sixth year instructional supervision certification from Union College.
A Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) is a trained volunteer child advocate sworn in by the Family Court Judge to represent the best interest of children who are dependent, abused or neglected and are active cases in the Juvenile Court System. The CASA volunteer investigates the child’s circumstances, provides fact-based information and makes recommendations to the court while becoming a source of support for the child.
The CASA program is independent, but works closely with the court, social workers, therapists, attorneys, care providers and other professionals involved in a child’s case. CASA volunteers work under the direct supervision of the CASA Program Director or Volunteer Coordinators to further the child’s welfare and to expedite the case through the system.
The CASA volunteer’s ultimate goal is to move the child out of temporary placement, usually in the foster care system, into a safe and permanent home. This could mean return to the parent’s care, adoption, the appointment of a legal guardian, or some other permanent living arrangement that satisfies the court and fulfills the child’s needs.
PO Box 3156
London, KY 40741
The US Department of Justice has supported CASA advocacy since 1985 through its Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.