The Iowa Court Appointed Special Advocate Program recruits, trains and supports community volunteers to serve as an effective voice in court for abused and neglected children, strengthening efforts to ensure that each child is living in a safe, permanent and nurturing home. The Court Appointed Special Advocate is typically assigned one case at a time and does a variety of things to promote the child's best interests: investigation, assessment, facilitation, monitoring and advocacy.
“Our joys have been in being a part of giving children a second chance in life. Our education has been about the court system. We have a much greater appreciation for the problems and successes of DHS. Our concern is for the family of today. If it were a "perfect" world children would have a father and mother to guide and teach them about life.”
—Parke and Jeneane Marshall, CASA Volunteers
The Iowa Foster Care Review Board (FCRB) recruits, trains and supports community volunteers to serve on local community boards working to improve how permanency is achieved for Iowa children placed in foster care. Thirty (30) local boards meet monthly or bi-monthly to review the status of children who have been removed from parental custody. Advisory recommendations in the child’s best interest are provided by the boards to the Court and other system officials.
The Iowa Child Advocacy Board (ICAB) is an independent board established in Iowa Code Chapter 237, Division II to provide for citizen involvement in child welfare issues. It is composed of nine members appointed by the Governor of Iowa and confirmed by the Iowa Senate. ICAB is a unit of state government attached to the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals. ICAB establishes policies and procedures for two volunteer child advocacy programs: the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program and the Foster Care Review Boards (FCRB) program. Along with establishing these programs to support the work of citizen volunteers helping abused and neglected children, ICAB is also required to report annually its findings on issues affecting the best interests of children in Iowa's child welfare system and to offer recommendations for improvements.