CASA of Johnson and Wyandotte Counties recently received a grant for $3,000 from the Ira and Florita M. Brady Foundation Fund to support the advocacy of children involved in the court system due to abuse, neglect, custody, or visitation disputes.
These funds, which supported CASA’s General Operating Expenses, were very useful in providing advocates to uphold the best interests of abused and neglected children in both Johnson and Wyandotte Counties.
Each year, hundreds of children are embroiled in the court systems of Johnson and Wyandotte counties in Kansas due to abuse, neglect, and other mistreatment by parents and guardians. Court can be a confusing and frightening experience for many adults, and even more so for children. A child's particular needs or circumstances are not always taken into full consideration by frequently overburdened court officials. Children are rarely effective in advocating for their own best interests, and don't always know what information is relevant to the court. As such, these children are in dire need of an adult to advocate for their best interests in court.
In 2013 alone, 993 children entered the court systems of Johnson and Wyandotte counties due to abuse, neglect, and other forms of maltreatment. Judges requested CASA advocates for 374 of these children, and CASA was able to provide advocates for 165 of those cases. All of these children are in need of a caring and stable adult presence to offer personal support and encouragement, and to serve as a dedicated advocate for the child's best interests in court.
CASA of Johnson and Wyandotte Counties (CASA) was established in 1985 to provide trained volunteers as advocates for children involved in the Johnson County District Court system. In 2005, the Wyandotte County District Court began allowing CASA Volunteers for children involved in their court system. For 28 years, CASA has recruited, screened, trained, and supervised community volunteers who advocate for the best interests of children involved in the court system due to abuse, neglect, custody, or visitation disputes.