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2nd Annual Guyton Superhero Run for CASA!

Join us for a fun and exciting day in beautiful, historic Guyton, GA!  Our 2nd Annual Guyton Superhero Run for CASA is a timed (Timing by Toby) 5K Run and a  One Mile Fun Run/Walk. Come dressed as a Superhero,

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Thank you to our sponsors who ” Lift up a child’s voice. A child’s life.”™

As we gear up for our 2nd Annual Superhero Run for CASA, we want to thank our sponsors who understand that CASA is central to fulfilling society’s most fundamental obligation by making sure a qualified, compassionate adult will fight for

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A CASA Hero

CASA OgeecheeThe child was a premature baby who was taken from his teen mother because of neglect. He had life-threatening medical problems. He had a feeding tube in his tiny stomach that kept him alive; it however did not support normal growth.

A CASA was assigned to the case. After the child was moved to a group home, the CASA kept suggesting ways to get him to eat on his own so his feeding tube could be removed.

The CASA conferred with the baby's caregivers and with doctors about his health. When a major liver operation was suggested by one doctor, the CASA insisted on a second opinion. The operation turned out to be unnecessary, and the feeding tube was finally able to be removed. The CASA supported the baby's placement with loving great-grandparents.

Today, the child is in good health. He had grown quickly and is a happy, healthy 3-year old who has learned to count up to twenty and is learning more everyday.

A CASA Story

CASA OgeecheeA CASA volunteer spent twenty-one months as an advocate for five brothers and sisters. The children ranged in ages from 2-months to 5-years. When taken from their mother, the older children had cuts and bruises, as well as signed of sexual abuse. The 2-month-old had severe dehydration, and had been pushed off a bed onto a hard cement floor.

Over the twenty-one-months there were six caseworkers, three public defenders, two judges, two public guardians, three assistant state's attorneys - and only one CASA volunteer. No one was in a better position to speak for the best interest of the children. "I would have probably been lost without the CASA," the latest social worker said. "She was critical in that case," agreed the assistant state's attorney. "She was a very important source of information for us."

After reviewing the CASA's report, which she praised as thorough and even-handed, the judge decided not to reunite the children with their mother. The report made it clear that this would have put the children back into harm's way.

A CASA Story

Severe dehydration, malnourishment, multiple bruises, kidney failure, liver failure, a skull fracture - this was the emergency room diagnosis of a 2-year-old, 15 pound boy. The child had been living with his birth father, a stepmother and her daughter.

Shortly after a CASA was appointed the case, the stepmother was murdered. Determined to find the little boy a real home, the CASA volunteer sought out his birth mother, thought to have abandoned her son. In fact, she lived in a shelter nearby. The mother explained that her ex-husband had beaten her and warned her to stay away from the child; she also had a drug problem, but with assistance, was able to comply with court-ordered treatment and gain conditional custody of her son.

With the advocacy of the CASA volunteer, the child received special therapy. The mother, now drug-free and attending AA meetings and college classes is attempting to regain permanent custody of her son, who is flourishing.

CASA: An Investment that Yields Huge SAVINGS!

CASA Ogeechee
• Federal law requires that the juvenile and family courts appoint a Guardian ad Litem (CASA volunteer) for all cases of abuse and neglect
• The Guardian ad Litem can be an attorney or CASA or both
• CASA volunteers are more likely than paid attorneys to visit children in their homes, and more likely to investigate whether there are appropriate services for children and families.
• By helping reduce time spent in foster care, CASA can reduce child welfare costs
• In 2003, an estimated 523,000 children were in foster care, at an estimated cost to Americans of $14 billion!

What can You do for CASA

CASA Ogeechee
• Promote us in the community
• Become a volunteer
• Provide financial or in-kind assistance
• Serve on the board
• Serve on a committee
• Live, share and encourage our vision:

Each abused or neglected child involved in juvenile court proceedings shall have a safe and permanent home.

CASA Volunteer’s Cultural Expertise Proves Invaluable for Siblings
In the metro Atlanta area, CASA volunteer Sarah* was assigned to a group of Latino siblings who were removed from their home due to an allegation of physical abuse by their father. Sarah had previously lived throughout the world and had come to understand and appreciate a diversity of cultures. Based on her past experiences and after researching the situation, Sarah realized the father’s cultural upbringing condoned his discipline of one of his daughters for bringing shame to the family. Sarah advocated for the siblings to be returned home after their father took parenting classes to redirect him. Today, the siblings are doing well at home with their father.
A CASA Story

CASA OgeecheeThe Police caught an 8-year-old girl stealing food. They later discovered that she and her siblings had been imprisoned by their parents in a rundown shed surrounded by wire.

The children were placed in foster care and a CASA volunteer spoke up for their best interests through the two years leading up to the imprisonments of their parents.

The CASA then assisted in securing an adoptive home for the youngest, long-term foster care for the second oldest and - after a four-year battle complicated by immigration policy - reunited the children with their grandparents in Mexico where they are thriving.

Child Abuse and Neglect in Georgia

CASA Ogeechee
• One of the worst states in the nation for child abuse & neglect
• Every fifteen minutes, a child is the victim of abuse in Georgia.
• Every day, 59 children are victims of confirmed child abuse or neglect.
• Over 250 incidents of child abuse and neglect are reported daily.
• Sixty-four (64) children died from abuse and neglect in 2006.
• Almost 13,000 children are in the legal custody of the state, at any one time

CASA & The Law

Federal law requires that a Guardian ad Litem (GAL) or a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) or both be appointed in all cases of child abuse or neglect.

Georgia law includes “court appointed special advocates” and/or attorneys as Guardian ad Litems for children in juvenile court deprivation proceedings.