Trinity Mount Ministries

Showing posts with label CASA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label CASA. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

CASA volunteers work to ensure at-risk children are safe

From The Observer

New York - As a result of the pandemic crisis, children are more vulnerable than ever to the impacts of the emotional and financial stressors that are plaguing families in communities across the state.
Children are behind closed doors, away from the public eye, without access to the safety net that schools and childcare programs provide — including monitoring our children’s well-being. Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) across New York State are working hard to stay connected to the children they serve.
CASAs are professionally trained community volunteers who are appointed by family court judges to monitor and advocate for children in the child welfare system who are at risk for, or have experienced, abuse or neglect. Many of these children and youth are in foster care.
Under normal circumstances, CASAs meet with children in person at least monthly and speak to everyone who is involved in the child’s life to gather the most current information and identify areas of need. CASAs share this information with the attorneys assigned to the family, with child welfare workers and, importantly, with judges to help them make the most well-informed decisions about each child.
These are challenging times. CASA is here to help. Our staff and volunteers are working tirelessly to stay connected to the children and families we serve. CASAs are using this crisis to be more creative than ever, advocating for and connecting with children through alternative means such as phone calls and video conferences and connecting families to needed resources such as activities to engage children and academic supports.
A few examples:
¯ At CASA of the Southern Tier, staff secured refurbished computers so CASA volunteers can remotely assist children with their assigned schoolwork.
¯ In Monroe County, CASA staff and volunteers are doing “porch drops” that include diapers, crafts and games for children.
¯ A CASA program in western New York successfully advocated remotely for children removed from their parents care in the wake of the pandemic to be placed with relatives, minimizing their disruption and trauma.
“While none of these is a grand solution, this kind of creativity and connection can make a real difference in the lives of vulnerable children,” stated Jackie Boissonnault, Executive Director of CASA of New York State, who continued, “Court Appointed Special Advocates across New York are proud to be part of a community working to change a child’s story.”
If readers suspect a child is in immediate danger, they should contact the police or call 911. They can also contact the New York State Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment at 800-342-3720.