CASA of Johnson & Wyandotte Counties

Lift up a child's voice. A child's life.™

Agency Mission and Overview

Our mission is to empower abused and neglected children with a volunteer's voice in court by seeking a safe and permanent home for each child.

Since 1985, CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) has worked to recruit, train and support community volunteers who act as advocates in court on behalf of child victims of abuse or neglect.

As these children enter the court system, they may feel alone, frightened or unheard. CASA volunteers play a crucial role by monitoring a child's situation and reporting findings to the court. More importantly, they are also a caring and trusting adult presence in a child's life. Each year, CASA volunteers within Johnson and Wyandotte Counties dedicate more than 15,000 hours to children. Every hour focused on the same goal - to give each child a chance at happiness and the stability that all kids need in order to thrive.

A majority of the children served by CASA are in the state's custody; and therefore reside in foster homes, relative placement, group homes, or treatment facilities. CASA works to move these children into safe, loving and permanent homes as quickly as possible.

2017 Outcomes:

  • 443 children and 275 families were served by 216 CASA volunteers.
  • 60 volunteers completed training to become advocates for children.
  • CASA advocates submitted 630 court reports and attended 697 court hearings.
  • Safety - 99% of children served were kept safe from additional abuse or neglect.
  • Stability - 95% of kids had stability in CASA advocate throughout their court involvement.
  • Informed Judicial Decisions - 99% of court hearings addressed information from CASA reports.
  • Permanent Homes - 99% of children remained in safe, permanent homes 2 years following case closure.

2018 Goals:

  • To serve 480 abused and/or neglected children and 280 families.
  • To recruit and train 75 new volunteer advocates.

Impact of Abuse:

Child abuse affects all of us. According to the Child Welfare League of America, abused children are more likely to perform poorly in school, commit crimes, experience emotional problems, and become alcohol or substance dependent.

But not every child who is maltreated will experience these negative consequences. Certain "protective factors” serve as a buffer, including a relationship with a supportive adult. A CASA volunteer can be that protective factor for a child who has been victimized. CASA volunteers make sure that the abuse and neglect the children suffered at home does not continue at the hands of the system. Because they handle just one or two cases at a time, CASAs can give each child the sustained, personal attention he or she deserves. In advocating for these children, the program works to break the cycle of abuse and builds stronger, happier and better-adjusted children, providing a benefit to the entire community.