CASA of Carson City – Court Appointed Special Advocates
CASA – A Brief History
CASA of Carson City came about in 1986 orchestrated by Honorable Judge Robey Willis who, at the time, was the Juvenile Special Master at the Carson City 1ST Judicial Juvenile Court. With support from Ms. Sally Landis of Soroptimist International, the fledgling CASA program requested funding from National CASA and voila! CASA of Carson City was born. CASA of Carson City’s first official case began in November of 1987. By September 1988 CASA of Carson City was representing the best interest of 22 children in child welfare cases. Over the next 10 years, CASA of Carson City became an official Non-Profit organization. Through funding opportunities by National CASA, the city of Carson City and the Task Force for a Healthy Nevada, CASA of Carson City was able to find its legs so to speak and began representing all children who came into child welfare.
How CASA of Carson City serves our community
The mission of CASA of Carson City is to support and promote court-appointed volunteer advocacy so that every abused and neglected child in our community can be safe, establish permanence and have the opportunity to thrive. From their first official case in 1987 through the year 2019, CASA of Carson City has served over 2,000 of Nevada’s children. Not only does CASA of Carson City represent the children within the Carson City district, our CASAs also work with children and families in Storey County.
Ensuring all children have the right to dream, thrive and grow
CASA’s ultimate goal is to move the child out of temporary placement, usually 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, emancipation, an independent living environment or some other permanent living arrangement that satisfies the court and fulfills the child’s needs.
CASA Foster Kid Closet
Present Executive Director, Melanie McCormick, has a simple motto: “We WILL have it on hand, and if we don’t? We’re going to go get it. CASA of Carson City continues to grow their Foster Kids’ closet to meet the demands of children in the child welfare system. It isn’t just about providing basic needs to children, it’s about having the ability to allow children to still be children. Many wonderful people from our community have donated new or gently used items so when we do have a child removed in the middle of the night, CASA is there to provide clothing, socks and shoes, blankets and a soft stuffed animal. CASA of Carson City is also always in need of new duffel bags for our foster youth and school supplies for our school-age children. Monetary donations can also go a long way in providing the necessary items needed to make a child feel comfortable and safe.
It takes a whole community to support our community’s children.
In an overburdened social welfare system, abused and neglected children often slip through the cracks. That’s where CASA volunteers can help make a difference.
CASA volunteers are ordinary citizens. No special or legal background is required. Volunteers are screened closely for objectivity, competence and commitment. Anyone over 21 may apply to become a CASA volunteer. A CASA needs sound decision-making skills and the ability to remain objective and non-judgmental. While no special educational background is required, a volunteer must have above average perceptiveness, common sense and maturity to deal with complex and emotional situations. A CASA volunteer provides a judge with carefully researched background of the child to help the court make a sound decision about that child’s future keeping in mind each case is as unique as the child involved.
Volunteers are what make up CASA. They are pivotal in knowing what these children need. CASA has been blessed with support from the community. They are in desperate need of volunteers for all of the child welfare cases in Carson City so a child can feel supported, secure and strong.