In Cook County alone, there are approximately 6,000 children in the foster care system due to abuse and neglect. These children and their families are statistically met with more challenges in terms of health, education, and wellness due to an overburdened foster care system with restricted budgets, high caseworker turnover, and inadequate staffing. As a result, this allows for the possibility of poor case monitoring and/or a delay of services that could critically impact a child’s life. Children in the foster care system can easily fall through the cracks living in unstable and harmful conditions.
Our goal at CASA of Cook County is to improve these children’s conditions by advocating for their needs in court. Through our CASA Advocate volunteer program, we aim to provide the stability and safety that children in the foster care system deserve.
What do CASA volunteers do?
Our CASA volunteers change the lives of children in the foster care system. Advocacy is at the core of what CASA volunteers do. CASA volunteers go through our extensive training process to become sworn in court-appointed advocates. CASA volunteers:
• Serve as a part of the fact-finding process for the judge by thoroughly researching the background of the assigned case.
• Speak on behalf of the child in the courtroom, representing his or her best interests.
• Act as a monitor for the child for the duration of the case, ensuring that the case is brought to a swift and appropriate conclusion.
CASA volunteers can give each child the attention they deserve when encountering the foster care system. Judges accept the recommendations of CASA of Cook County Advocates 80% of the time, demonstrating the vital role that an advocate can play in a child’s life. There are currently more than 200 dedicated volunteers helping change a child’s story. Children in the foster care system deserve permanency, safety, and a place to call home.
Change a child’s story.
Learn more about becoming a CASA Advocate today: https://casacookcounty.org/stage/advocate/