Child Advocates of SW Connecticut (CAC) was founded in 2010 with a mission to provide volunteer advocacy for abused, neglected and/or vulnerable children in Fairfield County. Since then, CAC has grown into a volunteer-powered organization of committed individuals who believe we as a society have a collective fundamental obligation to help improve the lives of our most vulnerable children and youth.
In 2013, CAC became a member of the National CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) Association, a nationwide network of almost 1,000 programs in 49 states that recruit, train and support volunteers to represent the best interests of abused and neglected children in the courtroom. In 2015, CAC partnered with Patrice Comey to introduce legislation to provide statutory recognition of CASA/GAL (Guardian ad Litem) volunteers to work with Connecticut’s most vulnerable children in the child protection system. The legislation passed in 2016, opening the door for CASA/GAL volunteers to help more abused and neglected children in our state.
In 2017, CAC established the Probate Court program to provide volunteer advocates in complex guardianship issues in Probate Court. And, after seeing an expanding need for advocacy beyond the life of GAL/CASA cases, in 2019 CAC established the Community Advocates for Children and Youth (CACY) program to provide volunteer advocates for children and youth in the community. CAC parted ways with the National CASA Association in 2021 in order to continue providing broader advocacy for children and youth through the rapidly expanding CACY program.
Since 2010, CAC has advocated for and supported more than 350 abused or neglected children and has trained over 180 volunteer advocates. Today, CAC continues to provide critical, and ever expanding, volunteer advocacy in three specific program areas: Child Protection Court, Probate Court, and Community Advocates for Children and Youth (CACY). All of CAC’s volunteer advocacy is provided at no cost and all programs serve children ages 0–18 and youth ages 18-23.