Seward Rotarians learned about the work of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) at its meeting on October 27, 2021
Seward Rotary learned about the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) when it heard from Maci Fehlhafer, Executive Director, and Lisa Lindau, Program Coordinator for Seward and Saline counties. 
CASA representatives are volunteers well trained to speak in court for the best interest of the abused and neglected children, who are in court due to no fault of their own.  CASA volunteers are appointed to a case by the judge and their goal is to provide a carefully researched background of the child to assist the court.  The CASA volunteer researches to advise if the child’s best interest is to say in the home, be placed in foster care or to be adopted.  They make a recommendation and continue to follow-up until the case is resolved, making the CASA volunteer one of the few stable factors in their assigned child's life.
Southeast Nebraska CASA serves Seward, Saline, Gage, Jefferson and Thayer counties. Its mission is to recruit, train and support the community volunteers who advocated for abused and neglected children in county and district courts in its service area. Southeast Nebraska CASA presently serves 83 children, with 56 CASA volunteers providing 1,483 volunteer hours, and has raised $44,660.  The CASA program was founded in 1977 in Seattle, Washington by Judge David Soukup.  
A CASA volunteer regularly meets with child assigned, they meet with all involved and they attend the related court hearings involving the child.   The submit reports to the judge for recommendations and advocate for the child.  The CASA volunteer must take 12 hours of continuing education each year and have 30 hours of training to be certified.
CASA volunteers must be 21 years of age, complete a written application, have a reference check, have a background check and have 30 hours of training in the CASA programing.
CASA has been in Seward County for 25 years and currently has 10 volunteers in the county at the present time.  Those 10 are working with 15 children in the court system now, with three children waiting for a CASA volunteer assignment.
Opportunities to serve with CASA include advocating for children, serving on the CASA Board, work with training, participate in events sponsored by CASA, such as the “Scare at the Fair,” creating awareness and funding for the local CASA, and making donations to CASA for its funding needs.  CASA has a campaign to raise $25,000 in funds in celebration of its 25th anniversary in Seward County.
For more information contact Marci Fehlhafer at 402-643-3695, or write to CASA, PO Box 215, 1313 285th Street, Suite 3, Seward, NE 68434 or visit