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CASA Speaks for the Children
October 14, 2019
Grand Central Park trails will welcome participants in the 10th annual CASA Superhero Run Saturday, Oct. 26, as they walk, jog and run to raise funds for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Montgomery County and their important mission of speaking up for abused and neglected children.
Children enter the foster care system in Montgomery County at a rate of around seven a week, according to statics provided by the non-profit organization. Once there, the court appoints a Guardian ad Litem to speak for the child’s best interests. This is where CASA comes in.
CASA is the only recognized not-for-profit organization whose primary role is to train and supervise volunteers who are appointed by the court to speak on behalf of abused and neglected children.
Unlike Child Protective Services caseworkers, who are assigned to multiple cases, advocates typically work with only one or two children so it is easier for them to monitor the family situation to determine if it is in the best interest of the child to be returned to the family, if the child should remain in long term care or be a candidate for adoption. Advocates follow the case until the child has a permanent, safe home.
The effectiveness of the program cannot be understated. Children with a CASA volunteer are substantially less likely to spend time in long-term foster care, defined as more than three years. When CASA volunteers are involved, both children and their parents are ordered by the courts to receive more services. Cases involving a CASA volunteer are more likely to be permanently closed with children less likely to re-enter the Child Protection System.
However, while the Child Advocates are volunteers, there are still costs. It currently costs $1,500 to provide a child with a volunteer advocate for one year. Money donated to CASA goes to support the staff and maintain a physical office that staff and volunteers use as a training and meeting facility.
For children, CASA Advocates are superheroes but CASA needs superheroes too. Heroes that donate the funds they need to provide each and every child someone to speak for them.
That’s where you come in. You can don your cape and run the Grand Central Park trails to raise money for CASA. The 5K run/walk or 1-mile fun run begins at 8 a.m. at Deer Lake, 715 Camp Strake Road. Bring your cape and we’ll see you there!
To register, visit https://casaspeaks4kids.com/newsandevents/superherorun/
Court Appointed Child Advocates of Montgomery County
Children are entering the foster care system in Montgomery County at a rate of around seven a week. The funds raised by the race will be used to help maintain the level of advocates CASA has. Last year, CASA helped 802 children in foster care with their 319 volunteer advocates.