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Ugh, Court Reports

As a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) for children in the foster care system, I must write reports.

Our judge here in Yavapai County, AZ considers CASA reports one of the most important parts of her preparation for a case. As CASAs we are not a DCS worker with many other cases to attend to. We are not a psychologist or therapist. We are not a kinship or a placement for the child. We are not a teacher. We are not a parent. We are CASAs.

No, as CASAs we are special, just like the name says. The most important part of our job is to get to know the child. I want to advocate for her. I want her to have a future she wants. It is not (what I consider) the ideal future, but it is her future.

As a CASA I may talk with kin of the child, therapists, teachers, placements and others. This information helps me to know the child better to understand what the child's options are. Most of all I talk with the child. What does she want?

In our court report, we begin with a brief history of the case. Then we talk about the moving parts of the case: the child(ren) first, then those who are part of this child's case. Some of the folks above. We (CASAs) form opinions and add that to our report. From all of the above we also recommend actions to help the child achieve her future.

I am a CASA, I change a child's story.

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