History and Background
The mission of the Clay County CASA Program is to provide advocacy for the best interests of the children involved in Juvenile Court proceedings, as defined by the laws of the State of IN. We support the development, growth, recruitment, and training of community volunteers to serve as Court Appointed Special Advocates.
The Court Appointed Special Advocate concept began in Seattle, Washington, during the early 1970's. There is now some version of the program in every state. Indiana has one of the largest networks of CASA Programs in the nation! Of the 92 counties in IN, 78 counties offer a CASA program. The Clay County CASA program was established in 1989.
Local programs train volunteers from their communities to speak for the best interests of abused and neglected children in court, helping to ensure children's needs are met while they are in foster care and that these children have a safe and permanent home as quickly as possible.
By law, our program must serve each Clay County child who has been adjudicated a CHINS (Children In Need of Services) by the Clay Circuit Court. These are all physically or sexually abused, neglected, or abandoned children who range in age from birth to 18 years. In addition, CASAs are sometimes appointed in juvenile delinquency, paternity, and custody cases.
The state legislature has provided empowering laws that give these programs the authority to operate. For example, juvenile proceedings are ordinarily closed to public inspection. CASA volunteer advocates are allowed to review any and all records (including medical) that pertain to their child's case.
The Clay County CASA Program is a county-run program that falls under the oversight of Judge Joseph D. Trout. The program is run on funds provided by the county and state, as well as other individual grants. CASA Kids, an account managed by the First Presbyterian Church, is funded solely by donation and provides clothing and other items of need to CASA kids in our area.
Become a CASA Volunteer and make a difference in a child's life!
Clay County Indiana
Meet our Superstar, Lisa Beyers! Lisa graduated from Van Buren High School and then went on to graduate from Purdue University with an accounting degree. She is married to Pat Beyers and is the proud mother to 5 children and 3 grandchildren.
Lisa is very actively involved in the community, including her membership of the Union United Methodist Church and a volunteer with the Clay County Youth Food Delivery Program. Her hobbies include crocheting, re-purposing items, baking, and spending time with her family.
Lisa has volunteered with the CASA Program for 1 year. She had this to say about her involvement with the CASA Program: “The kids in these difficult situations need a voice. Their CASA is that voice. It is easy to convince yourself that you can’t be a CASA (I would get too attached to the kids….I don’t understand how the system works….I don’t have time….I would get too angry at the system). We all have justifications as to why we can’t, but there is one huge reason why you can…the kids need you! It is as simple as that. Who will speak on their behalf, if you don’t. Please consider checking into Clay County’s CASA program. Our community’s kids need a voice, and that voice could be you.”
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