Debi Belkin comes to Friends of Children after over 30 years of working in the Massachusetts child welfare system advocating for court involved children and adolescents. As Friends of Children’s director of the Franklin/Hampshire Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Program, Debi maintains a passionate belief that the state’s most vulnerable children deserve to be heard.
With a Master’s degree in social work, Debi has a great deal of knowledge about the child welfare system and the children we serve. As a Social Worker and Supervisor, she helped advocate for the development of case practice for older youth aging out of foster care with their independent living plans and advocated for their housing and educational rights. She also supervised after hour child abuse investigations in western Massachusetts.
Debi also maintains a small caseload of adolescents and young adults at a local mental health clinic and provides screening and assessment for youth who have engaged in fire-setting or concerning sexualized behaviors.
Debi’s responsibilities include recruiting, training, supervising and supporting the CASA volunteers. She has well-established relationships in the legal community and connects regularly with judges on CASA cases to ensure that effective communication exists and that the quality of the CASA volunteer’s work is top-notch.