A few years ago, Candace Eardley was talking to a friend who had recently become a CASA volunteer in Essex County. Candace was instantly intrigued.
“I always thought it was something I wanted to do,” she said.
Candace, a Totowa resident and former Little Falls resident, began the Passaic County CASA volunteer training program in March 2015 and became a sworn Court Appointed Special Advocate two months later. She now advocates for seven children, whose ages range from one year to 14 years old.
Prior to becoming a CASA volunteer, Candace had a long career in the travel industry. During her career, Candace owned a travel agency and created spring break trips for high school students who were learning a foreign language, which led her to her husband, who was a Spanish and French teacher.
As an avid reader and a huge fan of book clubs, Candace makes sure that her CASA children are doing well in school. One of Candace's cases involved a pre-teen boy who was struggling in school. Through CASA, Candace advocated for a tutoring program.
"I assisted in locating various programs and eventually one was chosen," she said. "The child's grades began to improve."
Candace encouraged reading and for his birthday, through CASA, she was able to coordinate his birthday gift to include some books that she knew he would enjoy. She was delighted when she knew he had read them.
"He even began taking out books from the school library," she said.
Candace finds the CASA volunteer responsibilities interesting (“I am fascinated with the working of the family court system,” Candace said) as well as rewarding.
“I love being a consistent voice for my children.”
To become an advocate for children and teens in foster care, RSVP for an upcoming informational session here.