This article discusses judges’ perceptions of court appointed special advocates (CASA) programs in the rural state of Nebraska, as reported in two online surveys. The goal of CASA is “to train and support volunteers in advocating for safe and permanent homes for abused and neglected children” (CASA for Children 2013). One survey investigated the opinions of judges presiding in Nebraska counties that did not yet have a local CASA program; another was administered to judges in counties that did have a CASA program. A total of 36 judges completed a survey. Data from both surveys were analyzed separately and then compared to provide information regarding judges’ satisfaction with local programs and general perceptions of the Nebraska CASA Association. Results offer vital information for program growth and contain a hopeful tone for the Nebraska CASA Association and their goal of providing every child a voice by 2020. Both groups of judges expressed support for CASA programs overall, although judges in counties with CASA programs expressed significantly more support than those in counties without CASA programs. Judges presiding in counties with lower county populations and lower numbers of children in foster care also tended to be more supportive of the CASA program. Additional information was collected from judges regarding readiness for the development of CASA programs in counties not yet utilizing a program and perceived strengths and limitations of existing CASA programs. This study has the capacity to inform CASA programs seeking similar information to guide program growth in other states.
- Child welfare
- Foster children
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Social Sciences(all)