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Court Appointed Special Advocates Lead Foster Children to a Brighter Future

court appointed special advocates

Did you know that the average amount of time young people spend in the foster care system in New York State is over 18 months? During these long months, many of those in foster care do not have natural supports systems in place. To fulfill this unmet need, EAC Network’s Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) act in the best interests of young people in foster care in Nassau and Suffolk counties as they transition into permanent housing.

CASA Match Vulnerable Children with Trained Volunteers

When children have been harmed by a parent or guardian who has failed to provide a minimum degree of care, adequate education, and/or medical care, they may be appointed a Court Appointed Special Advocate.

Young people are entered into the CASA program for one of three reasons:

  1. 1.       Were placed by their families
  2. 2.       Are victims of abuse or neglect
  3. 3.       Are awaiting adoption

CASA’s participants may be either at home or in foster care. The volunteers who are matched with them are appointed by a judge who grants them the authority to speak on the young person’s behalf in family court proceedings.

Our Program’s Goals

CASA volunteers strive to:

  • Solve problems
  • Improve collaboration
  • Provide links to access resources
  • Assist the court with placing foster care children in safe, nurturing, and permanent homes

Learn about our Court Appointed Special Advocates

CASA Children Spend Less Time in Foster Care

Studies have shown that children who have been assigned a CASA volunteer tend to spend less time in court and less time within the foster care system. Court Appointed Special Advocates assist with making recommendations to the court, which are in the best interests of the child and are independent of the state agency restrictions.

Volunteers Provide a Positive Influence

Working through formal agreements with Family Court, CASA volunteers become a consistent presence in the lives of children as they remain in foster care, are temporarily placed with relatives, or are still living at home.

Every child in the foster care system has their case reviewed periodically by a Family Court judge. At the time of the case review, if the judge requires additional information or would like an objective opinion on the child’s placement and progress, a CASA volunteer may be appointed to the case.

Collaborative Relationships Create More Success Stories

CASA volunteers collaborate with legal and child welfare professionals, educators, and service providers to make sure Family Court judges have the information they need to make well-informed decisions. Every month, Court Appointed Special Advocates spend time with the child or teen they represent to build a relationship and gain a better understanding of that child’s wishes for the future.

A Court Appointed Special Advocate typically stays with each case until it has been closed and the child is successfully placed in a safe, nurturing, permanent home.

Court Appointed Special Advocates help foster care children

Support EAC Network’s Court Appointed Special Advocates

CASA is one of EAC Network’s many Children & Youth Services programs that are making a difference in our communities every day. Across more than 100 programs and services, our nonprofit organization empowers, assists, and cares for more than 40,000 at-risk individuals across Long Island and New York City.

If you would like to help us fulfill CASA’s mission, you can help in one of two ways.

Become a Volunteer

Anyone who is 21 years of age or older and is able to commit at least five hours of weekly service for a minimum of one year may be eligible to take the first step to becoming a volunteer.

Fill out our online application to join Court Appointed Special Advocates today!

Make a Donation

You can also support CASA by sending gifts of games, toys, and books. Or, consider making a charitable contribution today to support our mission!

Donate Now!

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