Special Advocate Association
CASA consists of 946 programs. The main mission of CASA is supporting and promoting court appointed volunteer advocacy. To accomplish this, they recruit, train and support volunteers involved in representing the interests of children who are abused and neglected. The training offered is usually research-based. The association also offers technical assistance to ensure that more children benefit from the program. Moreover, CASA provides a set of standards that are followed by all programs to guarantee quality services are provided. Furthermore, the program is involved in coordinating national awareness campaigns about child abuse. All these activities ensure that qualitative advocacy is offered to the children of interest. CASA volunteers provide advocacy services to children designated to them by judges. This gives assurances that the children go through the legal process and eventually get a secure permanent home.
The CASA program is highly effective. This is because most children in the CASA program are more likely to get a safe and secure permanent home through adoption than those children who are not in the program. Moreover, most of the children who re-enter foster care are likely to spend less time in the foster care homes. In addition, children in CASA benefit more from the services provided by the volunteers than when staying with a paid guardian. Furthermore, the more time the volunteer spends with the child, the more he ensures that the child has spend time with a responsible adult. Children in CASA programs are also likely to get improved legal representation than those with paid lawyers. The effectiveness of the program is also demonstrated by the high rating of volunteers chosen by judges. In fact, most of recommendations provided by volunteers are likely to be adopted by the court. The CASA volunteers also demonstrate high rates in terms of protection of provision.
I think neglected children benefit more from the program. This is based on the stories of the beneficiaries of the program. It seems that most of them were neglected due to their parents’ involvement in drug abuse. For instance, Jackie narrates how she found herself in foster care after her mother was arrested for drug abuse. Although some beneficiaries cite abuse, most of them say that they found their way into foster care after the arrest of their parents for abusing drugs. This implies that they were neglected by their parents.
If I were to modify a single element of the program, I would alter the awareness campaign. I would include drug abuse awareness in the campaign programs of the association because most of the children receiving the assistance from the program are neglected by parents who abuse drugs. Therefore, addressing the problem of drug abuse through creation of awareness would reduce the number of children neglected as a consequence of drug abuse. This will help redirect the meager resources of the association to take care of say physically abused children.
In my opinion, media plays an important role in addressing the needs of neglected and physically abused children. They usually help in creating awareness about child abuse and neglect. In addition, media is instrumental in the formation of community attitude toward the problem, thus it can significantly influence people in this matter. It also influences the way how the society responds to the plight of the affected children. In most cases, media has positive impact on influencing the community because it offers the best channel for educating the public on how to prevent the vice in the society. Such campaigns often affect politicians, professionals and the public to respond to the needs of the children.