Making a difference,
one child at a time
Imagine you are a child who finds yourself in court the victim of abuse or neglect . . . in the company of a judge, lawyers, social workers . . . all strangers. You are scared. Your world has been turned upside down.
You will go home to a stranger’s dinner table, a bed in someone else’s home, and, likely, a new school. You won’t have your own blanket or toys. You won’t see your usual playmates or classmates. Maybe you've even been separated from your brothers and sisters. You are alone.
This is the reality faced every day by children who have been abused or neglected — and it happens right here in Ulster County. Here in the shadow of the Shawangunks, at the foot of the Catskills and on the shore of the Hudson River, almost 6,000 children live in poverty. Over 800 were abused or neglected in the last year. 150 are in foster care.
This is where Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children, or CASA, comes in. Working in partnership with the judges and staff of Ulster County Family Court and the dedicated caseworkers at the Ulster County Department of Social Services, our volunteers advocate for "their" child's best interest. Working with just one child or set of siblings at a time, our highly-trained volunteers provide a steady, caring presence as children in transition.
CASA is central to fulfilling society’s most fundamental obligation by making sure a qualified, compassionate adult will fight for and protect a child’s right to be safe, to be treated with dignity and respect, and to learn and grow in the security of a loving family.
Our mission is to ensure that children find the safety and
love of a permanent home as quickly as possible and that they get the support
they need to heal from the trauma that forced them into foster care. Whether they return to their parent’s home or
they are adopted, the fact is that kids need this support and stability to
You can help. Make a gift. Consider becoming an advocate volunteer. No special background, experience or education is required. We will provide the training you need. Joining the cause requires only a commitment to change the lives of abused and neglected children right here in our backyard.