Ellen’s Place: CASA’s Outdoor Classroom Initiative

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Do you know a child that’s currently in foster care or at risk of placement? Do you wish you had someone neutral involved to provide an outside perspective with the kid’s best interests at heart? An objective point of view?

When your case is assigned a CASA worker, you get a trained volunteer advocate who works to observe and understand the child’s situation. This person provides Family Court judges with impartial information about the circumstances of the children involved.

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  • Trained volunteer advocates familiar with laws & courts
  • Home visits, interviews, and meetings with key people in the child’s life
  • Written reports that become part of the court record

What is the program like?

Having a CASA as part of your Family Court proceedings guarantees that there’s always going to be someone who’s purely on the side of those who matter most—the kids. CASAs are volunteers and complete 40

hours of training and ten hours of Family Court observation before being sworn in by the Chief Judge of the Family Court.

CASAs will visit and interview everyone needed to get a clear picture of the situation, whether it’s parents, foster parents, teachers, doctors—you name it. If needed, they will  submit a written report for a hearing and even testify. Most CASA volunteers feel passionate about their work and volunteer for years.

How do I participate?

Referral is through Family Court only. Please call Dee at 845-473-2500 x1323 for more information.

How do I volunteer?

Read about our volunteer opportunities here: CASA Volunteer Flyer

Other Services: Victim Compensation Applications

Our new partnership with NYS Office of Victim Services allows us to complete Victim Compensation Applications for our children and their families, please check out the flyer and contact us for more information.

Desiree S. King, Th.M.

CASA Director

I am the Director of CASA and Program Manager for Compeer and the Family Visitation Program. CASA is the Court Appointed Special Advocates Program at MHA Dutchess. I began my career in 2008 as the Teen Challenge Coordinator. I am proud to be an advocate in our communities and ensure that the best interest for children and families are being served.

Get in Touch

515 Haight Avenue, Poughkeepsie, 12603


Ext 1323

How Can I Join?

Referral is through Family Court only. Please call Dee at 845-473-2500 x1323 for more information.

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