Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)
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. There are three CASA programs within the Family Court that recruit and specially train these volunteers from the community, who are then appointed as advocates by a Family Court Judge. The CASA is appointed as the child's guardian ad litem, which involves being party to any court agreement or court plan for the child and is represented by an attorney for legal guidance.
CASA Volunteers are selected, trained, supervised and evaluated by Program Coordinators from the Family Court staff. CASA volunteers commit to spending at least one year:
- establishing a strong, stable connection with assigned child(ren),
- gathering information and making recommendations to the court about the child's best interest, and
- 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.