The following is from CASA for Children of Essex County:
(Court Appointed Special Advocates) CASA for Children of Essex County will host an information session at the South Orange Public Library, 65 Scotland Road, on Tuesday, August 16, 6:30 p.m. for citizens interested in learning more about advocating for children in foster care. CASA volunteer advocates are appointed by the Family Court to gather information about a child’s needs while in foster care and to represent a “child’s voice in court”.
According to Carol Costello, CASA Volunteer Director, “Information meetings like the one we’ll be hosting in South Orange are great opportunities to answer the community’s questions about CASA and the role of the volunteer advocate. Attendees will have an opportunity to meet some local volunteers to get their perspective.”
Last year, CASA advocated for nearly 30 percent of the children in foster care in Essex County. Even with an increase in volunteers, there are more than 1,500 children in need of this same support a CASA advocate can provide to a foster care case. CASA for Children of Essex County is actively seeking additional volunteers to help close this gap.
About CASA for Children of Essex County:
For over 25 years, CASA for Children of Essex County, Inc. has provided court-authorized advocacy services to the most vulnerable, helpless and often forgotten members of our community ~ foster children. The mission of CASA for Children is to promote the welfare of children in Essex County, New Jersey who have been removed from their homes because of abuse, neglect or abandonment by providing a safety net of support, advocacy and mentorship.
CASA trains and supervises volunteers to speak up for the best interests of these children in court, to insure that each child has the opportunity to thrive by receiving needed services and assistance, while helping to move the child towards a safe and permanent home. CASA works through the committed efforts of more than 250 volunteers who are recruited, screened, professionally trained and supervised by our Program Services staff. Every CASA volunteer serves on an advocacy team with a case supervisor to represent the best interests of their case child in family court. Together they work to advance two primary goals:1) to insure that necessary and appropriate services are provided for the child through the entirety of their time in foster care, and 2) to help move the child as quickly as possible to a safe and permanent home.
Founded in 1986 by a joint task force of the National Council of Jewish Women and the Junior League of Montclair-Newark, Inc., CASA is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. It is the oldest and largest court appointed advocacy program for foster children in New Jersey and one of the 15 largest CASA programs in the nation, affiliated in good standing with CASA of New Jersey and the National CASA Association, adhering to all national guidelines and standards.