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ERIC Number: EJ916292
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Oct
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 2
ISSN: ISSN-1529-8957
Working with Advocates
Doan, Kim
Principal Leadership, v11 n2 p22-25 Oct 2010
Court appointed special advocates (CASAs) are volunteers who represent abused and neglected children in the court system. David Soukup, a judge in Washington State, created the first CASA program in 1977 to gather more information about the children whose cases were appearing before him. The likelihood of meeting a CASA may be equal to the likelihood of meeting a family's lawyer. Not every teenager who passes through the court system is appointed an advocate. Several types of court cases will prompt a judge to ask for a CASA. In each, the advocate may serve in the roles of mentor, friend, counselor, and confidante to the child. Depending on the situation, he or she may also serve as an investigator, an advocate, a family educator, and a pseudo-probation officer. The CASA does not replace the services of a guardian ad litem or the child's court-provided attorney. The rights of CASAs are extensive. The courts allow advocates to obtain extensive information to make appropriate recommendations. For example, the CASA has the legal right to contact school personnel, examine school records, interview people involved in the child's life (i.e., teachers, counselors, family, social workers, doctors, therapists, and community members), ask for copies of records; they may even attend teacher conferences and IEP meetings with the caretaker's approval. CASAs work closely with parents, the guardian ad litem, and social workers to effectively advocate for the child and make recommendations to the court regarding the child's placement. CASAs not only serve as the eyes and ears of the courts, but they also develop a mentoring relationship with the child. Some families are receptive to having a CASA, but other families may feel ambiguous or even hostile to the CASA's presence. A CASA may be the most consistent person in a child's life because other service personnel (e.g., social workers or therapists) may change with a variety of circumstances, including relocation of the child. This article presents some suggestions for how schools can work effectively with a CASA.
National Association of Secondary School Principals. 1904 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1537. Tel: 800-253-7746; Tel: 703-860-0200; Fax: 703-620-6534; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A