CASA by the Lakes
I am for the child.
What is CASA?
CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocate.
CASA volunteers are community members just like you, who are appointed by judges to watch over and advocate for abused and neglected children. Volunteers stay with each case until it is closed and the child is placed in a safe, permanent home. For many abused children, their CASA will be the one constant adult the child knows as they navigate through the court system, providing much needed stability.
Once appointed by the judge, CASAs research the case, review documents, interview people, and make a report to the court regarding what is in the “best interest” of abused and neglected children in terms of services, placement, visitation, reunification and permanency. CASA volunteers monitor the child’s situation to ensure safety and basic needs are being met.
How did the CASA movement begin?
In 1977, Superior Court Judge David Soukup of Seattle, WA saw a recurring problem in his courtroom: “In criminal and civil cases, even though there were always many different points of view, you walked out of the courthouse at the end of the day and you said, ‘I’ve done my best; I can live with this decision,’ he explained.
“But when you’re involved with a child, and you’re trying to decide what to do to facilitate that child’s growth into a mature and happy adult, you don’t feel like you have the sufficient information to allow you to make the right decision. You can’t walk away and leave them at the courthouse at 4 o’clock. You wonder ‘Do I really know everything I should? Have I really been told all of the different things? Is this really right?”
Concerned about making drastic decisions with insufficient information, the Seattle judge conceived the idea of citizen volunteers speaking up for the best interests of abused and neglected children in the courtroom – an idea that would change America’s judicial procedure and the lives of over a million children.
Today, the CASA program has grown into a network of nearly 1,000 advocate and guardian ad litem programs that recruit, train and support volunteers across the country.
Meet the Staff
Angelia Melvin Boyd
Angelia graduated from Murray State University with a BA in Science with an emphasis on Elementary Education. She is a native Kentuckian who was born and raised in Calloway County. Angelia’s heart has always been with helping children. She started out teaching in the school systems, went on to the Department of Juvenile Justice, and found her home with CASA by the Lakes. In her free time, when not talking about CASA, Angelia enjoys hanging out with her children, traveling, reading, and spending time with friends and family.
Kelcy graduated from Murray State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nonprofit Leadership Studies. She is originally from Brookport, IL, but has lived in Murray for 6 years. She has worked with CASA by the Lakes as the Advocate Coordinator for 2 years and has enjoyed every minute of it! In her free time, Kelcy enjoys hanging out with her friends, helping out with the MSU Dance Company, which she was a part of in college, reading, and staying active in her church.
Advocate Coordinator/Program Assistant
Angela graduated from Murray State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture. She is originally from O’Fallon, IL, but Murray has been home since attending Murray State. Angela started her career as a veterinary technician, and spent years in the veterinary management field. She is thrilled to now be working for CASA by the Lakes! In her free time, Angela loves to travel, bake, read and spend time with friends and family.
Board of Directors
The CASA by the Lakes Board of Directors consists of various community members of both Calloway and Marshall Counties. These members are invaluable assets of the CASA team, who come from all walks of life and have expertise in a variety of fields, including: law enforcement, fundraising, non-profit governance, the court systems, and banking. Our board members assist in organizing fundraising events, creating policies and procedure, and helping spread the word about CASA by the Lakes in our area.