Contact Us: 315.246.3558

  • About

    Our Mission

    Advocates for Children of New York State (CASANYS) works to broadly support and develop local volunteer advocacy on behalf of the best interest of abused and neglected children.

    What Our Mission Means

    When children are abused or severely neglected, they must rely on adults to help them obtain justice and services. That is the intent of the child welfare and Family Court systems, but all too often these systems are fraught with escalating caseloads and reduced resources. Children currently average more than three years in the limbo of foster care, with their futures unresolved and uncertain. Family Court judges, with little time to determine a child's fate, are facing increasingly complex cases, limited support services, and disjointed, insufficient or outdated information on which to make sound decisions.

    CASA: Advocates for Children of New York State (CASANYS) promotes and supports local community advocacy programs whose trained volunteers assist Family Courts in making crucial decisions affecting children in 29 counties across New York State. We offer training, technical assistance, information, and support to member programs. We also work with other statewide court, social service, and children's advocacy programs on policy related issues.

    The heart of our program is the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), a specially trained and supervised community volunteer, appointed by a Family Court judge. CASAs help to secure safe and permanent homes for abused and neglected children by monitoring cases involving children in foster care. CASAs take only one or two cases at a time, allowing ample time to gather thorough information.

    After reviewing all the records and documents pertinent to a child's case and completing interviews with all relevant parties, the volunteer then submits a formal report to the court. This report details information about the child's placement, whether the child's medical, mental health, and educational needs are being met, what services the child and family members are being provided, and whether there are any unmet needs or other concerns concerning the child and the family. Most volunteers then monitor the case to make sure that Court orders are being followed and the child continues to be safe. The CASA volunteer is very often the single constant in a child's life throughout case. Volunteers average 120 hours per year, providing a powerful voice in each child's life.

    Our History

    CASA: Advocates for Children of New York State was founded in 1991 under the Task Force on Permanency Planning to promote and support trained community volunteer advocacy programs. The role of CASA programs is to assist Family Courts in making crucial decisions affecting children who have been abused and neglected. The Association incorporated in 1995 as an independent not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) organization. The staff and board of CASA: Advocates for Children of New York State have current and past affiliations with Family Court, government agencies, child advocacy organizations, social service, legal and mental health providers, and community businesses.

    How We Accomplish Our Mission

    We accomplish our mission with the following activities:

    • Supporting local CASA programs by providing training, technical assistance, information, and support.
    • Promoting and assisting in the development of new CASA programs throughout the state.
    • Formulating and delivering regional and statewide training programs addressing the needs of abused, neglected, and at-risk children.
    • Improving the quality of CASA services statewide through work with CASA directors and volunteers, as well as related service delivery agencies.
    • Providing a voice for children within the court system.
    • Raising awareness of CASA programs and the needs of the children and families we serve.

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    911 Central Avenue, #117

    Albany, NY 12206

    Phone: 315.246.3558