Ask anyone what they know about foster care and most will tell you they think it is necessary, but that our current system is broken. Many people feel that too many kids are slipping through the cracks and lingering in foster care longer than necessary. Some are even forgotten completely until they age out of the system.
One way every person can help fight against this is to become a CASA. CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocate. These volunteers play a HUGE role in many foster care situations. CASA’s advocate in the courtroom for the child. Not to be confused with the Guardian Ad Litem who is the child’s LEGAL representative, the CASA is a court appointed volunteer who advocates for the child and the families best interests.
Once a CASA volunteer is assigned to a child they will remain in contact with that specific child until they are either removed from the home and adoption is finalized or they are successfully re-united with their families. Since foster children often live in more than one home during their time in foster care, and sometimes enter in and out of the system, the CASA can sometimes be the only familiar face they see and grow to trust during this process. A CASA takes the time to get to know the child, know their family, their teachers and the situation they are faced with. They are a constant presence for the child during what may be a very difficult and emotional time. They can advocate for services and aid that the children may otherwise not receive.
Imagine if every child in the system was assigned one person who they could count on throughout the process?
According to casaforchildren.org more than 600,000 children each year become part of the foster care system in the US alone. Unfortunately there are not enough CASA volunteers for every child to be appointed a representative, so the ‘worst case’ scenarios usually are the only ones that are assigned a CASA.
Imagine if every child in the system was assigned one person who they could count on throughout the process? Statistics from casaforchildren.org tell us that children assigned to CASA’s do better in school, spend less overall time in foster care and are more likely to find a safe home.
And becoming a CASA is easy! Simply got to //www.casaforchildren.