Clients Served Last Year:
Funding Generously Provided by:
Unified Court System, I.O.L.A., and private donations.
In light of recent funding cuts to the CASA program, CASA seeks 100 community members (or companies) who care to donate $100 to help the program continue to run for the current fiscal year, or $250 to cover the current and subsequent fiscal years.
Elizabeth A. Matos, Esq.
There are approximately 1,200 children in foster care on Long Island. The average child will spend nearly two years in the system and change homes multiple times.
Watch over and advocate for children in foster care to make sure that they are not overlooked and that they receive the services they need.
How We Do it:
Trained CASA volunteers are assigned to a foster care case when a Family Court judge feels additional information and an objective opinion on the child’s placement and progress are needed, particularly involving cases of abuse or neglect. The volunteers interview any case workers caring for the child and visit the child in the foster home over time. They may also consult school officials, therapists, doctors, and/or family attorneys to gauge how the child is doing. They bring an independent set of eyes to the case and provide all relevant information to the court to help make the best decision for the child’s future. They remain involved in the case until it closes, and often serve as the only constant presence in the child’s life.
The Outcomes of CASA
Children in foster care are more likely to achieve permanency if they are assigned a CASA volunteer. Subsequently, they are more likely to have a consistent adult presence, do better in school, and receive other necessary services.
What People Say About CASA
I was a young woman with a rough, abusive background – no help, no support, and all the odds stacked against me. I got pregnant at 16 and had dropped out of school. By the time I was 20 I was a single mom and could not care for my two children. I could not afford to feed them, so I gave them to my grandmother in Brooklyn, but she was soon evicted from her apartment. After that, my two children were placed in foster care. When I first met EAC Network in court, I had no smiles, only tears. Both mine and my children’s attorneys were treating me like ‘just another file.’ Negative feedback only made me withdraw further into myself. There seemed to be no turning this around; I was going to lose my two children forever. EAC Network’s CASA advocate started spending time with me. All I needed was someone who took the time to care: a helping hand, and an encouraging word, which I seldom heard. I needed someone to believe that I had some kind, any kind, of potential. CASA worked with the social worker assigned to my children and enrolled me in individual therapy and parenting classes in preparation for dealing properly with behavioral issues once my children could return. I also enrolled in Suburban Technical School where I kept a B+ average and graduated as a medical assistant with placement in a hospital. I plan on continuing school to obtain my LPN so I can build a stable future for my family. The judge relied on the CASA advocate to be her eyes and ears, to come forward with the correct information regarding my children, me, and the foster parents, to make sure that adequate resources were made available, and that the orders placed by the court were acted upon. CASA lent a helping hand to me, and I grabbed it and held on for life!