June 27, 2018

CASA of Mercer/Burlington Joins Voices Speaking Out for Children at the Border

To the Editor:

For nearly 40 years the National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association (National CASA) has advocated for the best interests of children who have experienced abuse or neglect. One of our guiding principles is that children are better off when they remain with their families of origin if safely possible.

We also know the trauma that children experience when they are separated from their parents is most often detrimental to their well-being and can have a long-term negative impact. While CASA programs and volunteers work in family or juvenile court systems, not the federal court system, we support best-interest advocacy for all children. We have been deeply concerned about the family separations at the southwest border and thank those who have spoken out on behalf of these children. We join with these voices.

If children involved in immigration proceedings become involved in family or juvenile court, we urge the appointment of a CASA/GAL volunteer to advocate for the child’s best interest and help the court make the most well-informed decision in these tremendously important matters.

We ask our nation’s legislators to carefully consider the impacts on children when they address immigration legislation so that no child is subjected to further trauma.

For further information about this issue or to learn more about Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for Children of Mercer and Burlington Counties, contact Katherine Carmichael, executive director at (609) 434-0050, ext. 103 or visit the organization’s website: http://casamb.org.

Mary M. Penney

Communications and Special Events Director,

CASA for Children of Mercer and Burlington Counties