The Foster Care System: A Case Study

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Intro In order to understand how a CASA (court-appointed special advocate) fits into the foster care system, the history of foster care needs to be explored. Beginning in colonial America children worked as indentured servants and apprentices. The children would begin working alongside their parents as young as 6 years old and in other adult-like settings as young as 12; however, children of families who became indentured servants were required to work regardless of age (Martin, 2014). Life was very hard in early America. The immigrant families placed a higher importance on working and earning money than on education. From indentured servitude and apprenticeships the country transitioned into slavery and child labor. The Atlantic slave trade,…show more content…
The success of the orphan train era depend greatly on who is asked about their experience. On one hand there are stories of those who were placed in homes where they were loved, but there are also stories of those who were placed in homes and used only for hard, manual labor; they received room and board but that was all (Martin, 2014). Jane Addams and the creation of the Hull House were the next step in the foster care system. The Hull House offered daycare like settings for the children of working mothers as well as offered other services. Jane Addams fought to pass child labor laws. The National Child Labor Committee was formed in 1904, and finally in 1938 three years after Jane Addams died, President Roosevelt passed the Fair Labor Standards Act which regulated many different aspects of labor within the United States (Martin,…show more content…
In 1977 Judge David Soukup from King County, Seattle, Washington was dissatisfied with the same case plans and same recommendations for child after child; he believed more individualized attention would produce better outcomes. Judge Soukup solicited ideas for system improvement from court staff, and out of those ideas evolved the idea for community volunteers to act as child advocates. The Volunteer Guardian ad Litem Program began in King County in 1977 ( ). The guardian ad litem did not have to be an attorney. The program recruited volunteers from the community and provided training and support. Similar programs were developed in other states/localities as judges spread word of the concept. From the Volunteer Guardian ad Litem Program came The National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association (National CASA). The National CASA was created in 1982 to support volunteer child advocate programs and increase the number of volunteer child advocates nationwide ( ). Child advocacy programs go by many names other than CASA such as GAL (Guardian ad Litem), ProKids, Voices for Children, and Child

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