Court-Appointed Special Advocates of New Hampshire provides advocates in court for children who are abused or neglected. Chris placed in foster care at age 16, was assigned a CASA worker to advocate for him. Antonia Andreoli was Chris’ advocate, and was a constant presence for him through the court and foster care process.
CHRIS: Through all the judges and foster parents and case workers and everything that I was dealing with, Antonia was the one person that was stable throughout my two years in the foster care system. I absolutely love her.
As my CASA worker she would go to the court hearings with me and advocate for me. Most of the time that’s what the court hearings were about - just check ins to make sure that the foster care home that I was in was the correct one - that I was doing good there.
When you’re standing in front of a judge, whether you’re there because you’re in trouble or not, you’re sixteen, seventeen, and he is a supreme authority and it scares you. It’s really nice to know that you have someone standing beside you that’s going to help you through.
She would call me once or twice a week and make sure that I had sent in college apps, that I applied for scholarships and everything. I’m going to NHTI for mechanical engineering.
It was nice having someone there to basically tell me that they were proud of me and proud that I was working hard, proud that I was achieving goals that a lot of my family hasn’t even come close to and it was nice to know that someone that wasn’t family or blood was doing it out of the goodness of her heart, just to be there to see a child succeed.
There are people out there every day thinking about these children.