CASAs impact on behalf of vulnerable children
Nationwide, the case for Court Appointed Special Advocates is strongly supported and the impact of these volunteers is well-documented. Multiple nationwide studies reveal that over 93% of judges report a very positive experience with CASAs and the overwhelming majority (92.2%) cite the most pronounced impact of CASA volunteers is in promoting long-term well-being. Results of these studies also reveal critical benefits for those children with a CASA to advocate for him or her in the child welfare system over those who do not.
Nationally, a child with a CASA:
- Has significantly fewer placements than a child without a CASA
- Is 50% less likely to reenter the child welfare system
- Has more services ordered on his/her behalf
- Is more likely to achieve permanency
- Is more likely to have better outcomes academically and behaviorally
Statewide impact: New Jersey CASAs
The Administrative Office of the Courts for the State of New Jersey conducted a study in 2020 to determine the impact Court Appointed Special Advocates have on the cases before Family Court judges. The highly positive results clearly show the impact these volunteers have on helping judges make well-informed decisions for children in the child welfare system.
Some inspiring statistics emerged as judges rated the following statements as “strongly agree”:
- 80% – children and families are better served because of CASA involvement
- 78% – the Court is better served because of CASA involvement
- 75% – the personal knowledge that CASAs have about the children on their caseload is beneficial to my decision-making
When asked about CASA effectiveness in various areas of Children-in-Court cases, most respondents said the volunteers were effective in advocacy for educational needs, physical health/medical needs and safety, assisting with permanent placement, considering the best interests of children, monitoring the case, preparing information for the court, and working with others in the court system.
Local impact: CASA of Bergen County
The human and financial resources behind CASA of Bergen County (Bergen CASA) help turn around over a hundred young lives every year. Our impact is seen every day, in the thousands of hours our advocates donate to their cases. Our non-profit organization supports the continued growth and development of a nationwide network of CASA programs that recruit, train, and support volunteers.
In fiscal year 2020:
- Bergen CASA served 168 children
- 27 volunteers received in-depth advocate pre-service training
- 119 advocates donated 7,147 hours to their cases
- Of the cases that closed, over 75% of the children were placed in permanent homes
- 93% of recommendations made by a Bergen CASA in court reports were accepted by the courts
- Every child we serve received a special holiday and birthday gift from their wishlist
- Since the onset of the pandemic, every child placed in foster care in Bergen County was assigned an advocate