State of Alaska CASA Program
CASA volunteers are appointed to watch over and advocate for abused and neglected children, to make sure they don’t get lost in the overburdened legal and social service system or languish in inappropriate group or foster homes. Volunteers stay with each case until it is closed and the child is safely reunited with parents or placed in a safe, permanent home with relatives or others. For many abused children, their CASA volunteer will be the one constant adult presence during this period of their lives.
Independent research has demonstrated that children with a CASA volunteer are substantially less likely to spend time in long-term foster care and are less likely to reenter care.
The state Office of Public Advocacy (OPA) administers Alaska CASA, the state CASA organization, and five local CASA programs. These programs recruit and train volunteers who are supervised on their cases by OPA’s staff guardians ad litem. In 2011 there were 166 CASA volunteers in OPA’s CASA programs, representing the best interests of 418 children in Anchorage, Mat-Su Valley, Juneau, and Fairbanks.