Our mission is to speak up for the best interests of children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse and neglect.
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Morris and Sussex Counties, Inc. is a private, not-for-profit organization that recruits, trains and supervises community volunteers who provide a voice in court to assure victimized children in foster care safe, permanent, and nurturing homes.
Do you remember the excitement you experienced each year preparing for your first day of a new school year? After a relaxing summer of friends, vacations, and outdoor sports, you picked out your outfit of new clothes and shoes, filled a backpack with school supplies and awoke extra early to reconnect with friends and teachers. These are the comforting rituals that are vital to a child’s sense of security.
There are children who suffer from abuse and neglect and start school under very different circumstances. Alicia is 13 years old and has acted as parent to her 8 year old sister Jada for many years. Their mother suffered from many years of substance abuse and her parental rights were terminated by the court. They have never known their father. Alicia and Jada have lived in four different foster homes and were placed in separate homes several miles apart when they entered the foster care system. They only saw each other once a month. Lacking the security and safety of a stable family environment, they were abandoned to navigate through childhood. No one was there to comfort and guide them.
Then, Alicia and Jada met Kathy, a CASA volunteer. Kathy’s first recommendation to the court was to find a placement where the girls could live together. Kathy spent numerous hours over the summer making sure the extensive paperwork was filed, the school evaluations were completed, and the special educational resources that the girls required would be in place for September. Kathy even brought the girls new backpacks filled with school supplies donated from the CASA office. Now Alicia and Jada play in the playground of a new school, in a new town feeling confident that their CASA volunteer, Kathy, is by their side.
Most non-profit organizations reach out to the community with Annual Appeal letters during the winter holiday season. It is a time of giving as we enter the New Year. At CASA of Morris and Sussex Counties, September is a critical time for our advocacy. For children who are victims of abuse and neglect and living in foster homes, the new school year marks a new beginning that can be very frightening.
At CASA, we believe in the power of a community to make a difference. Last year, donations from members of our community allowed our CASA volunteers to serve 354 children, providing guidance, advocacy, and hope for a brighter future. We appeal to you now to partner with us to advocate for victimized children in our community. Please consider supporting advocacy for a child for 1 year, 6 months or whatever you are able to give.
Doesn’t every child deserve to enter the school year with the security of someone by their side?