Kaney Family
Left to right: Brothers Keo and Kage Kaney, Isabella Kaney, adoptive mom Dawn Kaney, Larissa Kaney, adoptive Dad Art Kaney, Marcel Kaney, and brother Kooper Kaney.

Oakhurst, NJ – Fifteen new Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) were sworn in as officers of the court by Monmouth County Family Court Judge, Honorable Teresa Coyle over a virtual video conference in November during a swearing-in ceremony. The swearing-in ceremony was the final step for becoming a Court Appointed Special Advocate, following a six-session training course to become a CASA volunteer. These volunteers are now ready to advocate for foster children in Monmouth County who are in the child welfare system because they were removed from their home due to abuse or neglect. Each volunteer will be assigned by the Judge to a case so that they can speak up for the best interests and advocate for the child. CASAs serve as the child’s “voice in court” to ensure the child’s needs are being met and to work towards a permanent, safe home. CASA ensures these children do not fall through the cracks of the child welfare system.

Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children of Monmouth County continues to work on behalf of the most vulnerable children in our community. There are over 250 children in Monmouth County who need a CASA volunteer to be a consistent and safe presence in their lives. Thanks to the newest volunteers, at least fifteen more children will benefit from this important service.

CASA of Monmouth volunteer, Eileen Bustillo, has been dedicated to the three siblings in her CASA case for years after the children were removed from their mother’s care. The siblings eventually ended up living together with the same foster family. The foster parents have been on a mission to adopt the siblings for three years. On November 18th, Marcel (age 15), Isabella (age 10), and Larissa (age 8) celebrated their adoption into the Kaney Family. “The kids are thrilled! I am so excited for them and can’t believe this day is finally here,” said CASA volunteer, Ms. Bustillo. “I plan on being part of their lives forever.” The siblings affectionately call her “Aunt Eileen”. Ms. Bustillo went on to say that she is overwhelmed with happiness that the case ended in a loving adoption and the children found their forever home.

Currently, the organization is serving nearly 200 Monmouth County foster children, with a goal to provide an advocate for every child in need. CASA volunteers are a source of support for the children they work with. CASAs typically stay with the case until it closes, either with reunification or adoption.

For more information on volunteering or donating, call the offices at 732-460-9100 or visit www.casaofmonmouth.org.


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