Recognizing the vital role that a Court Appointed Special Advocates program (“CASA program”) can perform in aiding Family Court efforts to further the health, safety and well-being of children, and the need to insure that each such program has adequate resources, this rule is promulgated to standardize use of CASA programs in the courts of this State and to establish a program of State assistance under the direction of the Chief Administrator of the Courts. For purposes of this rule, a CASA program shall mean a not-for-profit corporation affiliated with, and in compliance with, the standards set forth by the National and New York State Court Appointed Special Advocates Associations.
A CASA program may be appointed by Family Court in its discretion to provide assistance to the Court in cases regarding children in or at risk of out-of-home placement. The CASA program is not a party to the proceeding. To be eligible for such appointment, a program must meet regulations promulgated by the Chief Administrator of the Courts. Such regulations shall insure that each CASA program is capable of regularly providing thorough information about the health, safety, well-being and permanency plans of children and their families to the Court, the parties and law guardian; monitoring Family Court orders; meeting with children in the presence of, or with the consent of, their law guardians or as directed by the Family Court; working with legal and service providers assigned to their cases to facilitate collaborative solutions; and helping to promptly secure safe, stable homes and nurturing families for children so that they may thrive.
The Chief Administrator of the Courts may by rule establish a program for the provision of grants of State assistance to individual CASA programs within appropriations annually made available to the Judiciary.