The CASA Model

Volunteers from CASA advocate on behalf of children who are in foster care. Their advocacy helps ensure children are safe, have permanent homes and have the best opportunity for hopeful futures.

How it Works

CASA volunteers are appointed by the judge to advocate for children’s best interests. They continue with each case until it is either closed and the children are in a safe, permanent home or they “age out” of foster care. We serve children from birth through age 21.

Volunteers communicate with legal and child welfare professionals, educators, health care providers, foster parents, and service providers to ensure that the judge has all the information she needs to make the most well-informed decisions for each child.

Our advocacy is driven by the guiding principle that children grow and develop best with their family of origin if that can be safely achieved. Most of the children we work with are in foster homes.

Our advocates focus their work on five key areas to ensure children have the opportunity for hopeful futures:

  1. Health
  2. Education
  3. Permanence
  4. Independence
  5. Maturity

Who Are Our Volunteers, And How Are They Prepared?

  • CASA volunteers are regular people, from all walks of life, who have been screened and trained.
  • Each volunteer receives 30 hours of training, on-the-job training, and 12-hours of continued education each year.
  • Volunteers receive ongoing support to help them advocate effectively on the children’s behalf.
  • Each year, CASA of Kings County trains 20 new advocates.

How Are CASA Volunteers Different From Social Workers, Attorneys And Others Working With Children In Court?

  • CASA volunteers are assigned to only one case at a time. This may include one child or a group of siblings.
  • Our volunteers stay involved in the case from the time of appointment until the case closes, usually because the children have a permanent home.
  • Because our volunteers are assigned to one case, they have more time to commit to each child and therefore are very thorough in providing support and gathering information.
  •  CASA volunteers are specially trained to consider issues relevant to the best interests of the child, which may be different than the interests of other parties or the child’s wishes.