Please share your mission.
Based on the belief that every child is entitled to a safe and permanent home, CASA Lake County advocates for the best interests of abused and neglected children within the juvenile court system.
Describe how your organization lives/realizes its mission.
We have one mission and one program: to advocate for the best interests of youth in care. Specially trained CASA volunteer advocates help abused and neglected children in the most personalized and supportive manner, regardless of the complexity of the cases. The one-to-one nature of these relationships encourages CASAs to become fully integrated into each child’s life. They are trained to work diligently and carefully to earn the child’s trust and allow him or her to open up and share experiences and information vital to making decisions reflecting best interests. Trauma-informed advocacy requires patience, resilience and a thick skin. Our volunteer’s commitment is the heart of our organization. Once a CASA is assigned to a case, he or she is expected to perform three vital functions: 1) to provide independent and objective reports to the court focused exclusively on the child’s needs; 2) to serve as the continuous long term presence in the child’s life; and, 3) to maintain a complete history regarding the child’s background and history in care, as a resource for the court as well as for service providers and DCFS staff, who turnover quickly. CASA volunteers fill in the gaping holes in the understaffed and overburdened protective care system. 90% of our court recommendations were approved by the two Lake County juvenile division judges last year.