Advocate for Children in Foster Care
CASA for Children of Essex County
CASA volunteers are community members who have a sincere desire to make a difference in the life of a child in foster care by becoming an advocate in court on the child's behalf. They are responsible adults who care deeply about the welfare of children and know that when they take on a case, they have the opportunity to change a child's life.
As an advocate, a CASA volunteer will read Division of Child Protection and Permanency case files and interview all parties associated with the child and the case, such as biological parents, foster parents, school personnel, medical and mental health professionals and relatives. A CASA volunteer visits the child in the foster home every month in order to be familiar with what he or she needs. After gathering information, a CASA volunteer writes a report to be sent to the Family Court Judge who is presiding over the case. CASA volunteers are invited to appear at the actual Court hearing on the case to provide in-person testimony related to the report.
CASA volunteers come from all walks of life and all kinds of educational, ethnic, and social backgrounds. Most work full time but some are students and some are retired. Objectivity and good communication skills are essential since a CASA volunteer must be able to work with a variety of people from child welfare professionals to birth parents. You must be at least 21 years old to volunteer. Completion of 30 hours of training in addition to a formal background check, references and an interview are required.
Learn more about becoming an advocate for youth in foster care by emailing Alexis at firstname.lastname@example.org
No additional volunteer opportunities at this time.
About CASA for Children of Essex County
212 Washington St, Rm 912, Newark, NJ 07102, US
Essex County Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) is an independent, court-authorized, non-profit organization which works through professionally trained and supervised volunteers to promote the welfare of children in Essex County, NJ who have been removed from their homes because of abuse, neglect, or abandonment. CASA serves as a child's "Voice in Court," working to insure that needed services and assistance are made available while helping to move the child toward a safe and permanent home.
The primary objective of a CASA Volunteer is to represent to the family court the interests of the abused or neglected child to whom he or she is assigned. A CASA Volunteer makes a critical difference in the lives of these children by getting to know the child(ren) they are working with, seeking out current information about their circumstances and making recommendations regarding services for the child and the best permanency plan for that child. Whether this plan is reunification with parents or relatives or adoption, a CASA Volunteer diligently remains focused on the child's need for permanent placement. CASA Volunteers come from all walks of life, all kinds of educational, ethnic, and social backgrounds. no prior experience is necessary. On average a CASA Volunteer devotes 10 to 15 hours a month to a case. Each new Volunteer receives 33 hours of intitial training. The training schedule is available on the website or from the CASA office. Following the completion of training, volunteers are sworn in by a family court judge.