Hudson County CASA could not achieve its goals without the life-changing work of its volunteers.
Meet some of the CASA volunteers making a difference in foster children's lives:
A 30-year pediatric nurse practitioner veteran working at a major adoption agency, Susan was responsible for the care of medically-fragile foster children. She not only performed the initial assessments and matched children with appropriate foster families but Susan became their medical provider and testified on their behalf in court. Her typical caseload consisted of nearly 150 children.
After leaving her job due to a medical issue that prevented her from performing the demanding aspects of her work, Susan opened a newspaper one day in 2002 and found an ad for CASA. She immediately realized that this volunteer opportunity would allow her to continue providing a voice for the most vulnerable of the most vulnerable citizens: medically-fragile foster children.
Susan is Hudson County CASA's longest-serving volunteer and she currently advocates for eight children.
Greg has a busy life as a litigator in New York but has found a way to balance his work life with his commitment to a foster child. Greg has worked with the same foster teen for the last four and a half years. Every month Greg visits the child at his current foster home as well as participates by phone in a team treatment meeting for ninety minutes. During his time on the case, he has rarely missed a court appearance.
Despite the teenager being placed in a Trenton home, Greg still honors his commitment to visit the boy each month driving over an hour each way. The teen is bright, excels in math and wants to attend college. Greg recently fought successfully for him to take an SAT prep course.
Greg currently serves on the Hudson County CASA Board of Trustees and was honored in 2015 as CASA's Volunteer of the Year.
A full-time journalist and manager, Maria has been a CASA volunteer since 2014. Her reason for helping foster children is a simple one: a lot of children need help and CASA is how she can make a difference.
Maria has had a strong desire to be involved in her community and a good cause. She finds advocating for foster children to be rewarding, especially handling more complicated cases that many would shy away from.
"I'm glad CASA is helping so many children," Maria said recently, "the courts are really listening to us and it's making a difference."