The CASA program is under the fiscal and programmatic
administration of the Supreme Court's CASA Assistance Program. The special advocate program is an essential component in Louisiana's
ability to maintain family safety and stability, particularly considering the compressed ASFA time frames for permanency.
Upon appointment by a court of proper jurisdiction, CASA serves the community of abused, neglected and at-risk children referred
by the judge, the case manager, foster parents, or others involved in the case. Because CASA advocates take only one or two
cases at a time, they focus on a very small number of children, ensuring their safety and welfare until the case is closed.
CASA advocates serve as catalysts who can make sure that they have mobilized all available resources for a child, that family
members are complying with case plans and participating in mandated services, that they have addressed any roadblocks to permanence,
and that the child remains safe whether in a foster home, a relative placement or returned home. CASA is unique within the
Child in Need of Care system, in that it functions as a neutral nonparty advocate for the best interests of individual children
assigned to them by the courts.
DCFS is responsible for
developing and providing social services and improving social conditions for the citizens of Louisiana, and for rehabilitating
persons with disabilities for employment.
Vision: We will build a stronger Louisiana by helping individuals, children and families to achieve safer and more
Mission: Effectively and efficiently guiding individuals, children and families toward independence and safety through
integrated quality services and partnerships in an environment of opportunity and accountability.
Philosophy: The Department of Social Services is committed
to the recognition and respect of basic human needs and civil rights of both consumers and employees and the holistic delivery
of services with integrity, honesty and fairness.