Court Appointed Special Advocates of Somerset, Hunterdon, and Warren (CASA SHaW) is a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization committed to advocating for children living in foster care under the jurisdiction of the New Jersey Family Court. CASA SHaW recruits, screens, trains, and supervises community volunteer advocates who identify needed services, make best interest recommendations to the court, and ensure that assistance is made available to these children with the ultimate goal of moving them to safe, loving, and permanent homes. CASA SHaW is committed to advocating for these children both individually and through community outreach and education on the issues of child abuse and neglect.
CASA programs and CASA volunteers serve children in foster care throughout most of New Jersey. There are 16 independent CASA programs serving each of the NJ court vicinages.
A Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) is a trained citizen who is appointed by a judge to represent the best interests of a child in court. Children helped by CASA volunteers are those who have been removed from their home because of abuse or neglect.
CASA volunteers provide judges statewide with carefully researched background information for each assigned child to help the court make a sound decision about the child’s future. Each case is as unique as the child involved, and best interest recommendations are tailored for that child’s needs. The CASA volunteer recommends if it is in the child’s best interest to remain in foster care, be returned to his or her parent/guardian, or be freed for adoption. The CASA volunteer stays with the case until it is permanently resolved, giving the child at least one stable adult presence throughout their time in foster care.