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Essay on Courts Appointed Special Advocates in Child Welfare

3 pages
703 words
Sewanee University of the South
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CASA is a national movement in the US that advocates for enhanced child welfare. It is reported that more than 700000 children experience abuse in one way or another in the hands of their parents, relatives and even neighbours (Kirton, 2009). The court appointed special advocates strives to provide neglected children with healthy and safe environments. Children that have been removed from their homes due to neglect and abuse require a safe and loving family to take care of them. CASA volunteers are empowered and trained to ensure that these children live their dreams. They strive to promote positive change in the welfare of children since they are the future generations (Kavanagh, 2010). On the contrary, CASA does not live up to its promises due to structured racism and discrimination. Colored children receive less help as opposed to white children.

Supporters of CASA argue that the institution has revolutionized child welfare in the US. The states and local governments provide funding for the institution to operate effectively. Since its inception, CASA has been a reliable economic model of support for thousands of children. Many children would not reach their potential if not for CASA volunteers who have ensured that they receive education and safe foster care Kirton, D. (2009). Volunteers have a good relationship with the children they cater for. They get to know their parents, foster parents, teachers, social workers and attorneys in efforts of finding safe and reliable environments for their growth. They use information from courts to make a decision on the best life a child needs. Most importantly, CASA volunteers provide hope and support to abused and neglected children. Their navigation through courts helps to secure foster homes that help these children to heal from torture and neglect. Furthermore, CASA volunteers have made child welfare more fulfilling by expediting the court processes, facilitating better outcomes to children under the protection of the state. Recent research indicates that CASA officials are the only constant in uncertainties and frightening experiences. Therefore, they make immediate impact on the childrens lives.

The Court Appointed Special Advocates document findings at court hearings and from investigations and provide testimony for abused children in court. They help children understand the court process and ultimately facilitate improved social work experiences. They collaborate with social workers to find solutions that help children by paying attention on their health, psychological wellbeing, and education. Finally, they update courts on new developments that enhance better lives for children in accordance with the missions of child welfare programs (Kavanagh, 2010).

On the contrary, CASA in child welfare have also created a negative perception of the effectiveness of the organization. Child welfare does not equally address the lives of colored families especially blacks and Native American families. The child welfare programs greatly separate children of color from their parents. This leads to the colored families terminating their legal relationships. In child welfare, poverty is the leading cause of concern as poor families of color are highly entangled in the state affairs (Mulzer, 2016, p.26). Unfortunately, CASA officials and volunteers are caught up in the unequal treatment of people of color. They implement disproportionate scrutiny on particular families leading to negative outcomes for children. There is poor investigation and low standards of proof in courts impact the lives of poor families of color. As a result, some volunteers depend on their own biased opinions that may negatively impact the life of colored children. Likewise, in some scenarios, abuse cases do not end up in courts and social workers are given the opportunity to carry out investigations. Sadly, even when abuse has been documented, the social workers may leave the child in such homes due to structural racism in child welfare (Mulzer, 2016, pp.35-36). Finally, CASA volunteers have also failed in their representation of children of color, paving way for a biased child welfare system.


Kavanagh, A. (2010). CASES: Special Advocates, Control Orders and the Right to a Fair

Trial. The Modern Law Review, 73(5), 836-857.

Kirton, D. (2009). Child social work policy & practice. Los Angeles: SAGE.

Mulzer, A. (2016). However Kindly Intentioned: Structural Racism and Volunteer CASA

Programs. City University Of New York Law Review, 20(1), 1-56. Retrieved from

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