In our society, and in societies around the world, the stewardship of a child's rights rest primarily with family- that deeply important collection of people who are in a child's support system, people who will put a child's needs, potential and safety first. A family is supposed to nourish and provide for its children, guide them with culture, traditions, beliefs and values.
When- for whatever reason- a family is unable to live up to those obligations, a child is left to a system. A system that is full of well- intentioned people trying their best to place children in what is hoped will be better circumstances. But it is, after all, just a system- and an overtaxed one at that. Too often a child can be placed in a different home from his brothers and sisters. Too often a single child can move to three or five or 15 foster homes in merely a matter of a year or two. Too often a child can languish for years without finding a stable home and ultimately "age out" of the system.
That, at the end of the day, is why CASA exists. So a qualified responsible adult can advocate for that child at the most vulnerable and consequential time in his life. CASA is central to fulfilling society's most fundamental obligation by making sure a qualified, compassionate adult will fight for and protect a child's right ot be safe, to be treated with dignity and respect, and to learn and grow in the security of a loving family.
Today, more than 70,000 CASA volunteers are spread throughout 955 programs around the country. Because of CASA, more than 2 million children have found their way to a safe home. CASA is the only program of its kind. In the child welfare and family court systems, it is nothing short of a transformation. Everything is built around one child and one compassionate, trained adult advocate for that child.