CASA-logoPrior posts have addressed the important role of child advocates in Family Court.  CASAs, or Court Appointed Special Advocates, are one example of the wonderful advocates who volunteer their time to represent Delaware’s children in Family Court.

Across Delaware, over 200 volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) build close relationships with and serve as one-on-one advocates for children in foster care. The CASA program recruits and specially trains these volunteers from the community, who are then appointed as advocates by a Family Court Judge. The CASA is appointed to work in conjunction with the child’s attorney to represent the child’s best interests.

CASA Volunteers are selected, trained, supervised and evaluated by Program Coordinators from the CASA staff. CASA volunteers commit to spending at least one year:

1. establishing a strong, stable connection with assigned child(ren),

2.  gathering information and making recommendations to the court about the child’s best interest, and

3.  advocating to make sure the child receives needed services. Too often, a CASA volunteer is the only consistent adult in the life of the child.

The advantages of having CASA volunteers include high quality advocacy, better service to children, cost effectiveness and efficiency. Children with a CASA benefit in countless ways. They are more likely to be placed in a safe, permanent home; more likely to receive better services; and more likely to have fewer placement changes.

The Office of the Child Advocate recently announced that more CASAs are needed. For more information on how to become a volunteer, please visit the Office of the Child Advocate website at http://courts.delaware.gov/childadvocate, call the CASA office at the Office of the Child Advocate (302) 255-1731 or 255-1730, or email: megan.caudell@state.de.us.

To all the men and women who already serve as CASA volunteers, thank you for all you do!

**********************

Leslie Spoltore is a Partner with the law firm Fox Rothschild LLP.  Leslie practices in Fox Rothschild’s Wilmington, Delaware office.  You can reach Leslie at (302) 622-4203, or lspoltore@foxrothschild.com.