Court Appointed Special Advocates—with the support of their advocacy supervisors—find resources and make plans for the child’s case. They write reports and attend hearings to help the Court understand and implement what is best for the child.
In addition to the general CASA cases, case management includes the following specialized areas:
Infants & Toddlers
Infants and toddlers are the fastest growing age group in San Diego County foster care. These children can be plagued by a wide array of permanent damage if they do not experience early love and support from a caring adult. VFC assigns CASAs to infants and toddlers, ages newborn to five years, to expedite “forever homes” where children can heal from the devastating impact of abuse or neglect.
VFC assigns CASAs to foster children as soon as possible; in many cases, within two weeks of entering foster care. We believe this swift focus will offset some of the trauma and that fewer children will spend their entire childhoods in foster care. CASAs on early assignment may have a chance to find relatives or other potential guardians for the child in the early months after dependency begins. VFC further hopes that, over time, we will be able to serve more foster children more efficiently.
Transitional Age Youth
CASAs can be instrumental in addressing the needs of older youth, ages 16-21, to help prepare them for adulthood outside of the foster care system. New laws enable 18-year-old foster youth to continue receiving services as long as they meet certain work or school criteria. CASAs serving transitional age youth help with graduation requirements, college or job applications, budgeting, and other independent-living skills crucial for young people to avoid homelessness or unemployment.
Every CASA with a school-age case child gets involved in ensuring that the student receives educational services to help him or her succeed. For many reasons, foster children move frequently from home to home and from school to school. CASAs may meet with teachers and counselors to help reduce skill gaps, lost credits, and school failure, and may be called upon to serve as the child’s educational rights holder and educational advocate.