**The month of giving continues with daily charity highlights. I was playing kitten-mom Monday and Tuesday, so failed to post a charity those days, so I am doubling up for the next couple of days. On Saturday I will do a re-cap of the 30 charities I highlighted each day in December. Thanks for reading!**
We have all heard the stories in the news about kids in foster care "slipping through the cracks". Foster care is necessary, but the "system" is over-filled with children, and the agencies, court-systems and child welfare workers are all over-burdened, understaffed and underfunded. Budget cuts at all levels of government have impacted the ability for child welfare workers to do their jobs and legitimately monitor the kids under their supervision.
Child welfare workers simply do not have the time or budget to do what they really should do, which is get to know the children, the parents, the other people involved in the situation and make well-informed decisions about what is in the best interest of the child.
This is where Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for children step in to help.
From their WEBSITE:
Independent research has demonstrated that children with a CASA volunteer are substantially less likely to spend time in long-term foster care and less likely to reenter care.
Judges appoint CASA volunteers to represent the best interests of children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect. Each year, more than 700,000 children experience foster care in this country. Because there are not enough CASA volunteers to represent all of the children in care, judges typically assign CASA volunteers to their most difficult cases.
CASA is funded primarily through government grants and other partnerships. They do accept donations from the public in order to support their mission of advocating for abused and neglected children.
As we quickly approach year-end, and the clock is ticking on 2011 tax donations, consider investigating CASA and seeing if this organization is one you can support. They, of course, are always looking for qualified volunteers to BE an advocate, so if you have a place in your heart and time in your life, maybe CASA is a good fit for you.