The Bergen CASA Bulletin: 2nd Half 2022
Rutgers University study affirms CASA’s value
The results of a five year long study by Rutgers University provided a strong endorsement of the valuable contributions made by CASA. In collaboration with NJ CASA, the comprehensive research included interviews with judges, youths, advocates, and program staff, as well as analyzing court and Optima reports. The following are some highlights:
Overall, judges were extremely positive about CASA:
- 100% of the participating judges said that the court is better served because of CASA
- 95% of the Judges said that the type and quality of information CASA provides is beneficial to their decision making
- 98% of judges said that children and families were better served because of CASA involvement
- “I found that CASA worked well with the Division and all stakeholders. They were an objective voice and their commonsense approach assisted me in many cases in a variety of issues.
Feedback from foster children served by Advocates was also positive:
- They [foster children] felt cared for because they knew their CASA was a volunteer and was not paid to be there.
- ”CASAs listen when not everyone else does.”
The study also offered recommendations that will be reviewed and implemented based on the circumstances of each of the NJ CASA affiliates.
Advocates also gave valuable feedback:
- It was found that there was a high level of motivation and satisfaction within the CASA program.
- Respondents said CASA leaders, staff, and advocates are making a difference in the outcomes of children and youth.
- “I think that’s the best gift a CASA (volunteer) gives is continued, dependable presence, not just physically showing up, but, you know, actually…being there for the child.”
- “We’re the ones who have the global perspective…Our job is to find the good, the bad, the indifferent.”