Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)
Children need safe, stable, and nurturing homes in which to grow up. The foster care system provides a safety net when a child’s biological family is unable to meet those basic needs. In Westchester County, nearly 600 children are living in foster care homes while services to reunite them with their biological parents or, where that is not possible, to free them for adoption, are provided.
Many of these children are assisted by the services of the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program. “CASA’s” are trained volunteers, who are appointed by Family Court judges and supervised by MHA of Westchester staff. The job of the CASA volunteer is to advocate for children by reporting to the Court on the child’s status and any barriers that impede delivery of Court-ordered services, and also to make recommendations to the Court regarding needed services. Particular attention is paid to the educational, mental health and physical needs of each child.
The work of CASA volunteers is usually accomplished through telephone contacts and face-to-face visits with the child, biological and foster parents, caseworkers and others who are involved in the child’s life. Face-to-face encounters occur in Westchester County. The CASA volunteer can expect that other than an occasional telephone call, the work is accomplished during regular business hours.
Spanish services are available.
CASA is a free service.