CASA

Court Appointed Special Advocates

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) are specially-trained, objective community volunteers appointed by Family Court to advocate for children who are in out-of-home placement or who are at risk of being placed in foster care.

CASA is appointed by court order to collaborate with others involved in a child’s case and gather information from all interested persons including parents, foster parents, teachers, case managers, doctors, therapists, attorneys, other service providers, and the child. CASA provides fact-based reports to assist the court in addressing the child’s needs and in determining what is in their best interest.

When CASA is appointed, children are either in foster care or in the care of their parents or extended family with services and family court oversight. Many are safely reunified with the parents. In other cases, children and youth are permanently placed with relatives or are adopted.

CASA’s ultimate goal is for children to grow up in permanent, safe, healthy family homes.

A CASA’s role does NOT replace that of a caseworker or any attorney assigned to a case. CASAs do NOT provide services such as parenting classes or counseling, or direct assistance like food banks, transportation, and temporary assistance.

 

Our Mission

To seek permanency for abused and/or neglected children who are involved in Family Court proceedings and have been removed or are at risk of being removed to foster care.

How Do We Do This?

  • LEARN – Advocates learn all they can about the child and their life
  • ENGAGE – Within the context of CASA’s work, build a trusting relationship and engage with the child during regular visits.
  • COLLABORATE – Collaborate with others to ensure that necessary services are being provided
  • REPORT – Advocates report to the court what they have learned and observed
  • ADVOCATE- CASA advocates by using the information gathered and working with the service providers to bring factual information to the Court.

Our Volunteers

  • CASA volunteers are regular people, from all walks of life, who have been thoroughly screened and trained.
  • Each volunteer receives more than 30 hours of training before they can be assigned to a case.
  • They also have an additional 12 hours of continued education  required annually.
  • Volunteers receive ongoing support to help them advocate effectively on a child’s behalf.
  • All CASA Volunteers are required to  undergo a comprehensive background check prior to being assigned to a case.

Our Duties and Responsibilities

  • To maintain strict confidentiality.
  • To maintain objectivity.
  • To treat all persons with respect, fairness, and courtesy regardless of their race, culture,  religion, gender or economic status.
  • To advocate for the best interest of every child we serve .
  • To visit all children a minimum of ONE time a month .
  • To develop collaborative working relationships with all parties involved to maximize resources and efficiency.
  • To embrace honesty and open communication to share pertinent information as permitted by our strict confidentiality policy.
  • To attend all court hearings
  • To provide factual information to the court via CASA Reports.

CASA training is free. Our next training is scheduled to begin on August 26, 2021, in Ulster County. For more information about the training, please reach out to to Emanuel Sepulveda at the number listed below.


CASA of Orange County

For more information, call Emanuel Sepulveda, CASA Regional, at 845-372-8771 x1003, or email him at casaregional@drcservices.org

CASA of Ulster County

For more information, call Tess Martin at 845-372-8771 x4002, or email her at casa.ulster@drcservices.org

CASA of Sullivan County

For more information, call Audrey Greenidge at 845-372-8771 x3002, or email her at casa.sullivan@drcservices.org


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