The Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) of New Jersey program, together with county-based CASA programs, supports and promotes best interest child advocacy so that every child and youth placed in foster care and other out-of-home placements can be safe, have a permanent home, and the opportunity to thrive.
Children are removed from their homes when they have been abused, neglected, or abandoned by their parents or primary caregiver. CASA volunteers ensure the health, well-being, and safety of these children until the child’s court case is closed and the child is placed in a safe, nurturing, permanent home.
The CHILDREN & yOUTH
CASA of New Jersey empowers a statewide network of fourteen county-based CASA programs that provide services to foster children and youth from New Jersey’s twenty-one counties. During the fiscal year 2021 ( July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021), CASA volunteers provided best interest advocacy to 3,321 foster children and youth. As of July 1, 2021, 1,350 CASA volunteers were serving 2,376 children.. Following are the demographics of the children served by CASA volunteers during the fiscal year 2021.
CHILDREN BY GENDER
CHILDREN BY AGE
CHILDREN BY RACE
CHILDREN BY COUNTY
Cape May: 142
CASA child advocacy impact
1,907 Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers were assigned to a child’s abuse and neglect case during the fiscal year 2021.
CASA volunteers generously donated 75,477 hours of their time to provide best-interest advocacy to children and youth. They submitted over 5,000 reports to the court on behalf of the children and youth they served.
95% of the 20,018 recommendations made by CASA volunteers in their reports to the court regarding foster children’s placement and needed services were accepted by the court.
A CHILD’S STORY
Being responsible for three children was new to Cheryl. She struggled to manage a work schedule and the children’s school, social, and services schedules. It was difficult for her financially, and she began to miss payments for rent and utilities. The Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCP&P) expressed concern about Cheryl’s ability to care for Emma, Sarah, and Danny.
Fran, a CASA volunteer, was assigned by the court to the children’s case. She routinely visited the children at their aunt’s home. She witnessed the loving, caring,
Fran recognized that Cheryl needed assistance adjusting to her new role as a parent and effectively advocated for DCP&P to assist Cheryl with stabilizing the placement rather than placing Emma, Sarah, and Danny with a foster family they did not know.
Reunification with their parents never became an option for the children. Thanks to CASA volunteer Fran’s support, Cheryl, now comfortable in her role as a kinship caregiver, adopted the children. Fran, who stood by this family throughout their journey, was there to celebrate the adoption.