Court Appointed Special Advocates Assistance Program
Child Welfare Court Improvement Project
Division of Professional and Court Services
200 Elizabeth Street
Utica, NY 13501
The NYS Unified Court System's Court Appointed Special Advocates Assistance Program was established within the Child Welfare Court Improvement Project to provide programmatic guidelines, fiscal support, technical assistance and training to local CASA programs and to support Family Court's use and development of CASA programs. The program works collaboratively with the following independent associations representing CASA Programs:
In 2004, the court system convened a CASA Task Force. The group, chaired by retired Court of Appeals Justice Howard Levine, conducted a needs assessment, surveyed CASA program operations in other states and recommended the following:
- The Unified Court System provide financial support to CASA programs;
- Rules be established to govern the operation of CASA programs; and
- The Office of Court Administration create an administrative office to support the operations of CASA programs.
These recommendations were promptly implemented. During fiscal year 2005-2006, the CASA Assistance Program was created. New Rules of the Chief Judge (Part 44) and Rules of Chief Administrative Judge (Part 117) were promulgated, establishing a grant program to qualifying local CASA programs, as well as delineating the program structure, staff and volunteer qualifications, confidentiality and reporting mandates and other requirements required for CASA appointment to cases in Family Court, including following program standards set forth by both the National CASA Association and CASA: Advocates for Children of NYS.