On a Tuesday edition of the RNJ Morning Program, Morning Mike welcomed Tracey Heisler to the studio. Tracey is the Executive Director of CASA-SHaW – Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children in Somerset, Hunterdon and Warren counties. CASA provides volunteer advocates in court for child abuse victims who are in foster care.
Tracey and Mike began the conversation by referencing the high-profile case of David and Louise Turpin in California; they are now in prison following child abuse and other charges. Although an extreme case, the situation is a example of the care that is needed for children who can no longer stay with their parents. Tracey noted that a CASA volunteer may be the only long-term relationship with an adult that a child in foster care may have. “Foster parents, caseworkers, judges, and counselors may change,” noted Tracey,” but the CASA volunteer stays with the child until their case is resolved.”
Currently, there is a great need for volunteers in Warren County. “CASA served 100% of kids in care in Hunterdon County and just shy of 50% in Somerset this past year. By contrast, we served only 30% of kids in care here in Warren County,” Heisler reported.
The CASA office in Washington is making a concerted effort to recruit new volunteers, holding a series of information sessions throughout the county. If you would like to know more about the program, and becoming a volunteer, visit casashaw.org or call 908-689-5515.