Invest in a Child
Today in Bergen County, more than 375 children are living in foster care. Imagine, 375 children who have suffered abuse and neglect, 375 children spending their childhoods moving from one temporary shelter to another, 375 children, each without a voice. Many of these children came into the world exposed to drugs, many with severe developmental delays and other severe healthcare problems. They attend an average of nine different schools before they turn 18, and 40% do not graduate from high school at all. Within two to four years after aging out of foster care, approximately 51% of these children will be unemployed, 40% will be on public assistance or incarcerated, and 25% will be homeless.
Today, in Bergen County, 75 CASA advocates are working to reverse the consequences of abuse and neglect; 75 volunteers are working one-on-one with children in need of services; 75 volunteers are helping children in need of caring and consistent adults to speak up for their best interests in court.
Today, in Bergen County, there are approximately 225 children living in foster care, without the dedicated advocacy of a CASA. There simply are more children in need than we have the volunteer or financial capacity to handle. We need more resources, and your help can make an important difference. Each one of those children need a “Circle of Hope” surrounding him/her, made up of three people:
- A volunteer to serve him/her
- A staff person to train and mentor that volunteer
- Donors to fund those services and make it all possible
It costs CASA for Children of Bergen County $2,000 per year to provide all three of those elements and create a Circle of Hope for each child we serve. Pamela Butler, a former foster child, said it best “To give a child a CASA is to give them a voice. To give them a voice is to give them hope. And to give them hope is to give them the world.”
Help us reach out to a foster child in need of a CASA volunteer. To learn more about helping CASA serve additional children, please visit our Ways to Give page.