The juvenile "Deprived" docket is an integral part of the Payne and Logan County Juvenile District court. A child is assigned to this docket when a petition based on DHS confirmation of a report of abuse or neglect is filed with the court. The large number of children under the auspices of the Juvenile Court makes it very difficult for any of the parties to the case to have direct contact with the child, or with those caring for and treating the child. CASA volunteers are assigned to these children. There are approximately 340 children in our service area who need a CASA volunteer.
The Oklahoma Children's Code specifically names CASA as the preferred method of providing guardians ad litem for abused and neglected children. CASA volunteers are charged to advocated for the best interests of the child [Okla. Statutes Title 10A, Sect. 1-4-306, to wit.]. CASA for Kids operates under agreements with the Payne and Logan County Juvenile Courts.
The CASA's Role:
To provide a child with one constant adult in his/her life who can be relied upon to help keep others informed.
- INVESTIGATE: Dig out all relevant facts. Make independent evaluation and recommendations.
- ADVOCATE: Ensure all relevant facts are before the court.
- FACILITATE: Ensure the court, social services, and legal counsel fulfill their obligations in a timely fashion.
- MONITOR: Track all court orders to ensure compliance.
- PROVIDE COMMUNITY: Not to duplicate other's work, but to make sure other parties carry out their responsibilities and that the child does not suffer from the system's failure.
CASA Volunteers are not Big Brothers or Big Sisters
CASA Volunteers are not attorneys
CASA Volunteers are not social workers
CASA Volunteers are not rescuers
CASA Volunteers ARE:
Friends of the Court
Eyes and ears of the Court
Independent and objective people who represent the child's best interest