Since 1986 CASA of Jefferson County has trained volunteers to advocate on behalf of children who have experienced abuse/neglect and are in foster care or at-risk of placement. Their best-interest advocacy helps ensure that children are safe, have a permanent home and the opportunity to thrive. The volunteers (a.k.a. CASA's) are appointed by family court judges and are expected to stay with each case until it is closed. They work with legal and child welfare professionals, educators, and service providers to ensure that judges have all the information they need to make the most well-informed decisions for each child.
CASA Advocates speak for the best interests of the children they are assigned. Each advocate gathers information from all pertinent parties involved with their case and transmits this information to the Family Court Judge in the form of court reports which the advocate and the program director jointly create. Advocates must be 21 years of age or older who exhibit responsibility, maturity, common sense and have a flexible schedule. Advocates must complete the 30-hour training program and security clearance checks before being assigned to a case.
Natasha Delaney has always had an interest in working with children and families. Upon graduating high school, she enrolled in Jefferson Community College for Human Services and later transitioned to Early Childhood Education. She has now re-entered the Human Services program through Empire State College and is anticipating graduating with her bachelor’s degree.