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The Harrison County CASA Program, Inc. is a non-profit program that provides quality volunteers who advocate for abused and neglected children involved in the court system with the goal of a timely placement in safe, permanent homes. The CASA program in Harrison County began in 1995 as a program under the Harrison County Child Abuse Task Force, but in 2002 the program established themselves as a private, non-profit organization that is governed by a board of directors.
CASA acts as a voice for the children who are placed in the foster care system. The CASA volunteers act as a constant figure in the child’s life from the time they enter into the system to the time a judgement is made. A CASA volunteer is appointed by the Judges of the Circuit Court to represent the best interest of the children who have been removed from their home due to abuse or neglect. CASA volunteers only serve one case at a time, and submit written reports to the judge on the facts of their case. CASA volunteers pay the child they are representing a visit at least once a month to spend time with the child, and monitor their progression.
CASA is in need of more volunteers. In 2018 there were 151 children referred to the Harrison County CASA Program, and CASA was only able to serve 77 of those children. CASA volunteers are everyday citizens that are trained to be a voice for a child. The Harrison County CASA Program follows the National CASA standards in screening potential volunteers. CASA volunteers go through an application process, background and Child Protective Service screening, and 30 hour training process to be sworn in as a CASA volunteer. The only requirement to become a CASA volunteer is to be at least 21 years of age, and to pass the screening process. Since its origination CASA has functioned with only two full time staff, and after nearly two decades have recently added a third full time staff member. Those who wish to volunteer can receive an application in the CASA office or online, here.
CASA is entirely dependent on funding primarily from the United Way of Harrison County and Victims of Crime Act. Additional funding comes from the generosity of the community and special events. CASA is teaming up with CASA of Marion County to host their 7th Annual CASA Superhero 5K on Saturday, April 27. More information on the CASA Super Hero 5K can be found on the event’s Facebook Page.
The CASA Program of Harrison County has their own website and Facebook Page where the community and those who wish to volunteer can obtain more information. The Harrison County CASA program is located at 215 South Third Street Suite 1102, Clarksburg and is open Monday-Friday 8a.m.-5p.m.