Sponsor a CASA Foster Child. Your school, business, or community group can sponsor a child, providing a full year of court advocacy and comprehensive case investigation for $1,500. The sponsorship of a CASA foster child entitles your group to presentations from CASA staff and volunteer advocates to hear about the progress of "your child." Contact Karen Burns, Executive Director, at 973-648-3308 for more information on this sponsorship opportunity.
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Donate to Our Endowment. For generations, individuals and corporations have made substantial contributions to educational, medical, and other philanthropic institutions to memorialize their social concerns. We at Essex County CASA invite you to create living memorials - the gift of a safe and permanent home to future generations of society's most vulnerable children through a donation to the Essex County CASA Endowment Fund. This Fund was established through the generosity of the Union Foundation and the Frances L. and Edwin L. Cummings Memorial Fund. It has grown through the contributions of CASA trustees, individual, and corporate donors wishing to make a lasting impact on advocacy for foster children in Essex County.
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General Support Program—To Become a Funder/Donor. We would not be able to provide services to the abused and neglected foster children of Essex County without the generous support of our donors. For more information on how you can provide financial assistance to CASA Essex to help us reach out to more children in need, contact, Michael Slater, Development Director, at 973-648-3301 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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CASA volunteers are community members who have a sincere desire to make a difference in the life of a child in foster care by becoming an advocate in court on the child's behalf. They are responsible adults who care deeply about the welfare of children and know that when they take on a case, they have the opportunity to change a child's life.
As an advocate, a CASA volunteer will read Division of Child Protection and Permanency case files and interview all parties associated with the child and the case, such as biological parents, foster parents, school personnel, medical and mental health professionals and relatives. A CASA volunteer visits the child in the foster home every month in order to be familiar with what he or she needs. After gathering information, a CASA volunteer writes a report to be sent to the Family Court Judge who is presiding over the case. CASA volunteers are invited to appear at the actual Court hearing on the case to provide in-person testimony related to the report.
CASA volunteers come from all walks of life and all kinds of educational, ethnic, and social backgrounds. Most work full time but some are students and some are retired. Objectivity and good communication skills are essential since a CASA volunteer must be able to work with a variety of people from child welfare professionals to birth parents. You must be at least 21 years old to volunteer. Completion of 30 hours of training in addition to a formal background check, references, and an interview are required.
The first step in becoming an advocate is attending an information session. Visit www.tinyurl.com/CASAEssex for all upcoming dates and times. Can't make any of these? Email Jess at email@example.com to schedule a phone call.