CASA provides best-interest advocacy for children as reflected in these guiding principles which recognize the importance of family preservation and reunification, equity, diversity, inclusion, and collaboration. (National CASA/GAL Local Program Standard 2)
We recognize the importance of family preservation and/or reunification.
- It is in a child’s best interest to remain with their family of origin whenever safely possible.
- Our program acknowledges that children experience trauma when separated from their family of origin.
- If a child is removed from their family of origin, it is in the child’s best interest to be reunified with their family of origin as soon as safely possible.
- If a child is removed from their family of origin, it is in the child’s best interest to be placed with a relative as the next best option whenever safely possible.
- Strengthening families, through recommendations for services, supports, visitation and communications, is in the child’s best interest to achieve stability and/or reunification.
- Our program requires and demonstrates respect for the parents and all parties associated with the case.
- Our program ensures that information regarding the family’s strengths is incorporated into reports to the court.
- Our program ensures that information regarding the child’s wishes is incorporated into reports to the court.
- Only when a court determines a child cannot be safely reunified with their family of origin in a reasonable timeframe, is another permanent placement is in a child’s best interest.
We recognize the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion.
- All children regardless of age, race, ethnicity, national origin (ancestry), color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, disability or physical challenge should be safe, have a permanent home and an opportunity to thrive.
- Our program acknowledges the existence of implicit bias and takes steps to minimize and/or eliminate implicit bias.
- Our program is committed to demonstrating an understanding of disproportionality impacting children who have experienced abuse or neglect.
We recognize the importance of collaboration.
- Our program cooperates and coordinates with other volunteer and public service agencies, the courts, community groups, families and individuals to:
- Improve services for individual children and their families.
- Advocate for needed change in the conditions which adversely affect the children served.