All Children All Families
Tippecanoe County CASA is committed to effectively advocating for all children who have experienced abuse and/or neglect. Successful advocacy looks different for every child, and staff and CASA volunteers go through extensive training on many issues that shape advocacy, including: mental health, education, childhood development, the impacts of trauma and abuse, human trafficking, domestic violence, addiction, sexual orientation, and gender identity and expression. Tippecanoe County CASA works with local and national agencies specializing in these different fields to ensure that all Court Appointed Special Advocates are educated and informed, and that they have the resources necessary to meet the needs of each individual child for whom they advocate.
In 2019, Tippecanoe County CASA began working in collaboration with the Human Rights Campaign’s All Children All Families Project to evaluate every aspect of our organization’s operations, examining policies and procedures and altering them when necessary to be LGBTQ+ affirming.
According to a 2019 study, LGBTQ+ youth are severely overrepresented in the foster care system; 30.2% of foster care youth identify as LGBTQ+, compared to 11.2 percent of their peers who are not in foster care. This discrepancy illustrates the need for those working inside of the child welfare system to be equipped to provide specialized and appropriate support, resources, and advocacy to this marginalized community.
Alongside the Human Rights Campaign and local experts in the field, Tippecanoe County CASA has developed and implemented trainings and resources to educate and prepare staff and CASA volunteers to effectively support and advocate for LGBTQ+ youth, who face unique challenges in the child welfare system. Tippecanoe County CASA works closely with Indiana’s Department of Child Services, whose Bill of Rights for Youth in Foster Care affirms the rights of youth to not be discriminated against based on their gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity.
In addition to ensuring effective advocacy to the LGBTQ+ youth in foster care, Tippecanoe County CASA is committed to fostering diversity and inclusion throughout all aspects of the organization, including staff and volunteers. Volunteers with diverse perspectives, backgrounds, identities, and life-experiences, including members of the LGBTQ+ community, are encouraged to apply to become a Court Appointed Special Advocate today.