2023 Judicial Service Award

Since two New Hampshire judges took a chance on a program that promised advocacy for children by highly trained volunteers, CASA of New Hampshire has advocated for more than 12,000 children. At the heart of every one of those cases has been a judge with a life-altering decision to make. CASA of New Hampshire would not be where it is today without the support of judges all around the state who believe in the work our volunteers do and who continue to support our mission. CASA of New Hampshire’s Judge of the Year award is given annually to a judge whose outstanding contributions exemplify CASA’s mission to protect the best interest of the child and whose support helps to promote the success of the CASA/GAL volunteer program.

Hon. Edward Burke

While Judge Edward Burke retired from the bench at he required age of 70, he continues to work as a judicial referee on family and juvenile cases, for which CASA of NH is grateful. CASAs who go before Judge Burke, say Keene office Program Managers Idina Auth and Allison Wheeler, always note that he reads the CASAs’ reports, and will frequently ask or comment on specific items during the hearing. He trusts that CASA is keeping an eye on the situation, and in one recent case he sent a CASA out to gather additional information to help him untangle conflicting stories and decide how to proceed. Idina and Allison share that he puts kids at the front of cases, making time to talk to them about their concerns, whether it’s a 5-year-old sharing what she had for Thanksgiving or a teen who doesn’t want to return to a parent. He is committed to keeping families together when possible, and believe that it’s better for kids to stay with their parents even in difficult circumstances. And when there was danger, he stood – metaphorically – between a child and the parent. He makes sure parents feel heard and understand their rights, while also holding them accountable for their actions. With deep roots in the community, he remembers people who have been before him in the past. We are honored to shine a light on his depth of expertise, patience and commitment to helping children and families.