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Passaic County Hosts Volunteer Session to Become an Advocate for a Foster Child in Need


By: Najla Alexander 

Passaic County officials announced Passaic County Court Appointed Special Advocates need volunteers who are able to be that person for the most vulnerable population: children in foster care.

According to officials, across Passaic County, over 300 children, from newborns to teenagers, are in foster care each year and need a volunteer advocate called a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) to be their voice, their advocate, their person each year.

Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASAs, work one-on-one with an abused or neglected child, advocating for their needs and gathering information from the family, caretakers, teachers, doctors, and caseworkers to make informed recommendations to the family court about the child’s future, officials said.

Volunteers do not need specific background, training, or education to become a CASA; all training and resources are provided through 36 hours of pre-service training and ongoing continuing education.

“The training provided is informative and enjoyable,” Court Appointed Special Advocate Candace Eardley of Totowa said.

“The feeling of having helped a child, even in some small way, is indescribable,” she added.

Officials say the first step to becoming a Court Appointed Special Advocate is to attend a volunteer information session.

Information sessions are a non-committal opportunity for community members to learn more about the volunteer program and ask questions about the volunteer experience, officials said.

Upcoming volunteer information sessions are as follows:

August 2023

-Thursday, August 10 at 5:30 p.m.

-Friday, August 11 at 10:00 a.m.

-Thursday, August 24 at 5:30 p.m.

-Friday, August 25 at 10:00 a.m.

According to officials, all Information Sessions occur at the Passaic County CASA office, 415 Hamburg Turnpike, Suite D2, Wayne, New Jersey 07470.

For more information about the volunteer program, visit or e-mail Julie Ritsema at

To sign up for an informational session, visit or call (973) 832-4002.