NJSFWC Special State Project 2018-2020
Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children
(CASA of New Jersey), Inc.
CASA of NJ provides a voice for abused and neglected children by empowering a statewide network of local CASA programs serving all 21 counties of NJ. Dedicated community volunteers advocate in Family Court for the best interests of children in foster care to ensure their safety and well-being, and ultimately, their placement in nurturing, permanent homes with loving families.
Quick Facts about CASA
- CASA of NJ is a STATEWIDE organization serving children and youth in all 21 counties;
- Nearly 1,900 volunteer child advocates served 3,866 children in foster care this past year;
- Children served by a CASA volunteer while in foster care are placed in permanent homes faster than children without a CASA volunteer;
- Volunteers’ donated services to children are currently valued at over $5 million per year;
- CASA services to children save the State of NJ and taxpayers over $7 million per year;
- CASA programs must rely on donations for more than 50% of their budgets each year;
- CASA is unique – it is the only non-profit organization approved by state statute to advocate for children in Family Court; and
- CASA staff and advocates are available statewide to provide presentations to Women’s Clubs.
Potential Club Projects: Enhance Children’s Lives in Foster Care
- Collect Back-to-School Backpacks filled with school supplies;
- Knit blankets, hats, and scarves to keep children warm (advocates will ensure these items move with children when they change foster placements);
- Conduct book drives to promote a love for reading and improve children’s literacy;
- Collect birthday and holiday gifts so children feel special during festive times of the year;
- Collect new suitcases and duffel bags for children to transfer their belongings during foster care moves; and
- Identify summer camp sponsors for children in foster care and sponsor other summertime adventures.
Support CASA’s Good Work Statewide
- Attend and volunteer at CASA’s Annual Advocacy Conference;
- Become CASA Ambassadors to help raise awareness of our mission and services;
- Participate in local program “Go Blue” events during Child Abuse Prevention Month;
- Connect CASA with local faith, social service, and youth organizations to form partnerships;
- Refer qualified individuals to serve as trustees or advocates for CASA programs; and
- Attend state legislative hearings with staff and advocates to show support for CASA’s mission.
Projects to be Supported by Money Raised through Women’s Clubs
- Enhance Statewide Training through the purchase of special Learning Management System (LMS) software that will provide a brand-new library of interactive e-learning opportunities for advocates and staff;
- Serve More Children through statewide marketing, advertising, and public relations campaigns to attract a larger pool of new advocates, especially those with diverse backgrounds; and
- Reach Children Placed Far From Home through a special cadre of staff and volunteers to conduct mobile outreach and monthly visitation.