Child Abuse Council of Muskegon CountyIn Picture Above: United Way of the Lakeshore Community Impact Health Panel visiting the Child Abuse Council and meeting Executive Director Kyleen Gee
At United Way of the Lakeshore, we help fund 3 different programs at the Child Abuse Council of Muskegon County. These programs are the Children’s Advocacy Center, the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program, and the Prevention through Education program.
Currently, the Child Abuse Council of Muskegon County serves 21,000 children. Their mission is to prevent and treat child abuse and neglect through education, child advocacy, and community collaboration.
CASA: Court Appointed Special Advocate
The CASA program provides trained volunteers to act as advocates for abused or neglected children. A CASA volunteer is appointed by a family court judge and sworn in as an officer of the court. He or she provides the judge with a carefully researched background of the child to help the court make a sound decision about that child's future. A CASA volunteer can thoroughly examine a child's case, has knowledge of community resources, and can make recommendations to the court regarding what is in the best interest of the child. While CASAs are independent advocates, they work closely with social service caseworkers and the child's attorney to ensure that each child's voice is heard.
A little boy without shoes wandered in the street looking for food. He appeared to be malnourished. The police were called because of the concern for this small boy. After the police investigated that very night, they found that this little boy was starved each day and suffered from physical abuse with kitchen utensils. His caretaker admitted to the abuse and neglect and is now serving prison time. A CASA volunteer was assigned to this case shortly after the boy was removed from his home. A CASA volunteer advocated for this little boy to stay in his foster home and to be adopted instead of returning to his stepmother where he may have been unsafe. This little boy’s dream came true when he was adopted by a loving family with a safe home. There wasn’t a dry eye in the courtroom at his adoption hearing, and the little boy glowed with happiness.
Want To Find Out More About Being A CASA Volunteer?
Apply to be a CASA Volunteer!
Fill out the application and send it to: (Download Application)
Andrea Kelley, CASA Advocate Supervisor
Or Mailed to:
1781 Peck Street
Muskegon, Michigan 49441