Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Ocean County, Inc. is an independent, non-profit organization, whose missions are committed to advocating for the best interest of vulnerable children in foster care that have been removed from their homes due to abuse and neglect. The CASA volunteer serves as the child’s voice in court and is committed to moving the child towards a safe and permanent home. CASA of Ocean County exists to recruit, screen, provide training and supervise the CASA Volunteers. The vision of CASA of Ocean County is to provide a CASA Volunteer for every foster child in Ocean County. CASA of Ocean County is an affiliate of the National CASA Program and an affiliate member of CASA of New Jersey that provides technical support and training to this organization.
A child in foster care, by no fault of their own, becomes a part of a very complicated Child Welfare System, and they are taken away from much more than their home and parents/siblings. When an abused child is placed in foster care they are assigned multiple case workers, a law guardian and a Children in Court Judge. A CASA Volunteer is appointed by the Judge on the most complicated cases to ensure the child’s medical, educational, and emotional needs are met while in foster care.
A CASA Volunteer is the one compassionate, consistent and caring advocate that will make an investigation into the changes involving the child’s life. The volunteer will prepare court reports to the Judge with recommendations that will assist the Judge as they are making the best decisions on behalf of the child. The CASA Volunteer serves as the child’s voice in court that is often unheard.
A foster child faces a multitude of problems while in foster care due to the lack of integration and coordination of efforts and services that exists inside and outside of the Family Court System. This directly contributes to delays in case handling and decision making that are not optimal for the child who is waiting for their forever home. Too often, Child Placement Review Boards, Family Court Judges, Division Case Managers, attorneys and law guardians that are involved in permanency hearings do not share information. This further contributes to children waiting in foster care while lingering court proceedings extend long periods of time. Research findings report that a foster child with a CASA of their own will have reduced time in the court system by up to 12 months. Not to mention, the CASA ensures health records are transferred, educational needs are being met, basic needs such as adequate clothing and food are given and overall the volunteer is working to improve the child has a better quality of life.
CASA provides volunteers with 30 hours of training and ongoing supervision while they assist each child. Volunteers commit to 20 hours a month in volunteer service to make child visits, attend meetings, appear in court, and speak up for the child as they navigate the child welfare system. A CASA Volunteer is the one compassionate, consistent, and caring advocate that will make an investigation into the changes involving the child’s life. The volunteer will prepare court reports to the Judge with recommendations that will assist the Judge as they are making the best decisions on behalf of the child. The CASA Volunteer serves as the child’s voice in court that is often unheard.
CASA is actively recruited new program volunteers to join our fall child's rights advocacy training course. If you would like more information or applications emailed, please call the office today to inquire on the details. The program is also interviewing for positions on our Fundraising Committee and Board of Trustees.
There are also other opportunities within our organization where volunteers are needed such as administrative support persons, errand runners, event staff/helpers, and fundraisers. If you have extra time, please consider donating it to CASA of Ocean County and stand up to say I am for the child!
- Basic Computer Skills
- Youth Services
- Child Welfare
- Community Outreach
- Microsoft Office Suite
Good Match For
Requirements & Commitment
- Driver's License Needed
- Background Check
- Must be at least 21
- Orientation or Training
- 20 hours per month for 12 to 18 months
- Basic computer skills, visit foster children once a month, participate in a flexible 30hr training