CASA volunteers help abused, neglected children

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Information session scheduled Jan. 9

PETERSBURG – CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) for Children of Atlantic and Cape May Counties will hold an information session at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 9 at the Upper Township Branch of the Cape May County Library on Route 631 in Petersburg.

 

The 60-minute program gives an overview of the organization and shows how CASA volunteers advocate in court on behalf of abused and neglected children.

Attending the information session is the first step to becoming a CASA volunteer. There is no cost.

Interested individuals can register by calling 601-7800 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Trained CASA volunteers speak in family court on behalf of abused and neglected children in the foster care system and are dedicated to ensuring these children are placed in safe permanent homes as quickly as possible.

In Atlantic and Cape May Counties, over 700 children are placed in foster care annually. Last fiscal year, CASA served 316 abused and neglected children with 177 CASA volunteers and helped place 114 children in permanent homes.

CASA is a United Way Partner Agency.

Nationally, CASA was established in 1976 after Judge David Soukup of King County Superior Court in Seattle, Wash., realized he was making life-altering decisions regarding children’s lives without enough information about the children, according to a press release.

He began to look for alternative ways to make sure that the child’s best interests would be consistently presented to the court. Soukup decided to use trained community volunteers, individuals who would be asked to make a commitment for the life of a child’s case.

His idea became a full-fledged program in 1977 and word of its success spread quickly and new CASA programs began to develop around the country.

Currently, over 1,000 CASA programs exist nationwide, with 68,000 CASA volunteer advocates serving more than 2 million children.

 


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