About CASA of the Heartland
The Organization and the Volunteers
CASA of the Heartland is a non-profit organization based in Elizabethtown, KY. CASA recruits, trains, and supports a network of community volunteers, who are court-appointed to advocate for abused and neglected children in the Hardin County Family Court system. These volunteers are known as Court Appointed Special Advocates for children, CASA volunteers or CASAs.
CASA volunteers are appointed in specific cases by the Hardin County Family Court Judges, usually the worst cases of abuse and/or neglect. CASAs make sure that the children they serve do not fall between the cracks of our overburdened legal and social service systems. CASAs advocate for their children on many levels. They help ensure children receive the therapeutic, educational, and personal attention they need to recover from the trauma they have endured. With these needs met, children are more able to grow into healthy, thriving adults who can break the generational cycles of abuse and poverty.
A CASA volunteer often is the one constant adult in a child’s life throughout the Family Court process. A CASA focuses solely on the child’s best interest, making sure their specific, individual needs are met. The ultimate goal of the CASA volunteer is to make certain a child is placed in a safe, permanent, loving home.
The Volunteer Training Process
To become a CASA volunteer, please reach out to the CASA staff by calling (270) 982-2274 or emailing casastaff+casahearland+org anytime. We look forward to hearing from you.
The training process involves:
- Completing an initial interview and an application packet with a CASA of the Heartland staff member.
- Participating in a 30-hour Volunteer Training Class. Training Classes are available four times a year.
- Engaging in a final interview with a CASA staff member, a CASA Board member, and a current CASA volunteer.
- Being sworn in by a Family Court Judge.
- Complete courtroom observation.
After completing the above process, the CASA staff assigns the volunteer a case. The volunteer is matched with one of our Advocate Coordinators, who supports the volunteer in his/her work on the case. Advocate Coordinators have first-hand experience as CASA volunteers, are up-to-date on all cases in Family Court, and are available 24/7 to provide support to their volunteers as needed.
How You Can Help
Our goal is to recruit, train, and support enough volunteers to provide a CASA for every child in Hardin County Family Court.
Other ways to help include fundraising for or donating to CASA’s mission. Per National CASA standards, CASA of the Heartland must employ one full-time equivalent staff member for every 45 children we serve. Monetary and in-kind donations help support our cause and enable us to employ our paid-staff, who are available 24/7 to support our CASA volunteers as needed.
Staff members also are active in community networking, relationship building, and growing our organization. Capacity building is essential to recruiting more volunteers and serving more children. We always welcome the opportunity to speak about CASA of the Heartland. If you belong to an organization whose members would be interested in hearing about CASA, please contact us to set up a presentation for you.
CASA of the Heartland is a member of the National Court Appointed Special Advocate (NCASA) Association. We also are United Way of Central Kentucky funded partner. Please contact us to learn more about the organization and how you can help.
Kentucky Revised Statutes Authorizing CASA
- .500 Definitions for KRS 620.500 to 620.550
- .505 Court-appointed special advocate program -- Local board of directors -- Program director -- CASA volunteers
- .510 Support services and funding for CASA programs
- .515 Minimum requirements for CASA volunteer -- Training -- Oath
- .520 Information available to program directors and CASA volunteers
- .525 Duties of CASA volunteers
- .530 Court-Appointed Special Advocate Association
- .535 Duties of association
- .537 Director of association -- Qualifications -- Duties
- .540 Support services and funding for board
- .545 Reports from CASA programs
- .550 Notification of treatment planning conferences and reviews