The job of a CASA is to advocate for the child they are assigned to. Although they can offer support to the bio families and foster parents, their number one goal is to advocate for the child's best interest in court. A CASA is the eyes and the ears of the court.
Court Room Advocacy & Recommendations
What is in the child's best interest? Are they thriving in their placement? Are their needs being met? Medical, psychological, and their overall wellbeing? What are the wishes of the child? What do other service providers recommend? Do you agree or disagree? What are your fact-based reasons for your recommendations? The CASA works with the other professionals on this case and is allowed and encouraged to attend family team meetings, court hearings, and to observe parenting time visits so that they can claim the clearest picture possible to the court.
Are there behavioral or attendance issues since the child's removal from home? Have those worsened or lessened since removal? Has the child had to change schools? Does the child qualify for an IEP or 504 plan? Does the child need extra help in certain classes or additional classes such as speech therapy or reading help? The CASA can work with the school professionals and is allowed to attend meetings with school personal to advocate for their assigned child.
The fact of the matter is that there is a high turnover in the child welfare system, between foster care workers and therapists. Sometimes, depending on placement, the child may have to attend a different school, meaning all new teachers and friends. Often times, the CASA is the only consistent person in this child's life, coming back week after week and showing up for their assigned child.