The CASA Mission
CASA of the Continental Divide guides volunteer advocates who ensure a child’s safety, best interest and well-being are at the forefront of legal proceedings.
Who We Are & What We Do
CASA of the Continental Divide
Vision: All children and families will thrive
CASA of the Continental Divide consists of 4 full time and 2 part time staff. Our programs is guided by our Board of Directors who bring their valuable skills from the community to our program. Our programs are driven by Child Advocate Volunteers who work hard making sure that the child they serve is being cared for well and receiving loving support through a difficult process. Each year our Volunteers and Board Members donate over 5000+ hours of their time and drive over 45,000 miles on behalf of CASA and the children we serve.
CASA of the Continental Divide provides court requested advocacy for abused and neglected children in Colorado’s Fifth Judicial District. Our goal is to be appointed for, and have volunteers serving 100% of child welfare and truancy cases throughout the district.
CASA of the Continental Divide serves a large area of the Colorado mountain region. Our program covers the 3,069 square miles of Eagle, Lake, Summit, and Clear Creek Counties. We attend proceedings at 4 Court Houses, work with 4 Departments of Human Services, and attend to advocacy for children in foster care who are living in Eagle, Lake, Summit and Clear Creek Counties. Due to lack of foster families within the child’s home counties the children are often placed in Denver, Colorado Springs, Pueblo and sometimes even out of state. Our Volunteers make a huge impact and commitment when they Advocate for Kids in need.
Programs and Accomplishments
Dependency & Neglect
Goal: CASACD seeks to promote and protect the best interests of abused and neglected children
involved in court proceedings through the advocacy efforts of trained CASA volunteers.
The heart of our program is serving children who are involved in a Dependency & Neglect (D&N) case. These children have been abused or neglected by their parents, and, nearly always, removed from their home. Each D&N case referred by a judge is assigned a CASA volunteer who makes a commitment to advocate for the child/ren for the duration of the case, for perhaps as long as twelve to eighteen months.
A CASA volunteer’s Job is to:
1) Determine if an appropriate plan for reunification with their parents has been created for the child, that appropriate services are being provided to the child and family, and whether the treatment plan is progressing in a timely manner.
2) Determine if it is in a child’s best interest to stay with his or her parents or guardians, be placed in foster care, or be freed for adoption. The CASA volunteer makes a recommendation on placement to the judge, and remains active on the case until it is permanently resolved.
3) To prepare a recommendation, the CASA volunteer conducts an independent investigation that includes interviews with the child, parents, family members, social workers, school personnel, health providers and others who are knowledgeable about the child – historically and currently. The CASA volunteer has authorized access to all records relating to the child, parent, legal guardian, or other parties in interest, as the court deems necessary.
Approximately 80% of our cases are the result of parental substance abuse. We collaborate with the Departments of Human Services, Guardians ad Litem, and other professionals providing services to the child or family, such as Child Find, chemical dependency treatment, parenting training, schools, and counselors.
CASA Truancy Program:
Goal: CASACD provides advocacy and support for students who experience challenges with school attendance.
Truancy is a symptom of something occurring in a child’s life. Since attendance is mandated by law within the State of Colorado, when the school has been unsuccessful at correcting attendance issues the next step is to open a court-centered truancy case. The Judge often appoints a Truancy CASA to assist both the courts and the families in discovering what the issue is preventing school attendance and school success. CASA’s are instrumental in identifying supportive services that will bring the child success. Supporting Kids to the best of our abilities and advocating for their success is our goal. Eagle County experienced over 120 truancy cases in the 2018-19 school year. CASA volunteers are now at the table to help determine the causes and reduce the number of cases within the county.
Our CASA Volunteers are Heroes!
CASA of the Continental Divide acknowledges we are located on the traditional and ancestral lands of the Southern Utes, Uncompahgre Utes, Northern/ White River Utes, and Cheyenne peoples past and present. We acknowledge 48 contemporary tribal nations are historically tied to the lands that make up the state of Colorado. In our daily lives, let us honor and respect those who stewarded the land through generations.
CASACD acknowledges this statement will evolve as we continue to learn the history of the land we occupy. We are in the process of educating ourselves about the atrocities that took place against indigenous peoples on this land.
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