Monroe County CASA Brings Foster Care Issues and Need for CASA Volunteers to Life
Through the Forgotten Children Campaign
Bloomington, IN – Every year children enter the Monroe County foster care system, due to suspected parental abuse or neglect. Monroe County CASA is a local nonprofit organization that trains community volunteers to speak for the best interests of children involved in juvenile court due to abuse and neglect. To raise awareness about abused and neglected children and the need for more CASA volunteers, Monroe County CASA is hosting a Forgotten Children Campaign.
The “forgotten children” are life size stand-up displays that bear actual messages from foster children, all gathered from a recent national study commissioned by the National Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Association. The “forgotten children” will be placed around Bloomington in various businesses, churches, and the public library. They will have CASA brochures attached to them for area residents to learn more about volunteering. In the words of one youth: “If you want the foster care system to get better, if you have compassion in your heart, don’t stop doing whatever you can to make it better – even if it’s just by providing an ear. Be someone we can talk to. You are the one that can create the change.”
“In 2010, Monroe County CASA had the highest caseload since the program was established in 1983″ said Kristin Bishay, Executive Director, Monroe County CASA. “The need for more CASA volunteers is greater than ever before. Our goal is to be able to serve 100% of the children we are appointed to but that won’t happen until we have enough volunteers.”
Becoming a CASA volunteer is an opportunity to have a real impact on a child’s life while giving back to the community. CASA volunteers gather information about the child, help identify needs and possible services, and monitor court orders and case plans to help the child find a safe, loving home. Monroe County CASA requires its volunteers to undergo a 33 hour training program. The next training is March 1-April 12, 2011 meeting Tuesday and Friday mornings from 9:30am-12:30pm. The application deadline is February 18th. To learn more about volunteering while enjoying free coffee and pastries, join CASA staff at the Scholar’s Inn Bakehouse downtown January, 19, 2011 from 8:30am-10:00am.
For more information on becoming a CASA volunteer or how you can be a CASA supporter, contact Kristin Bishay at (812) 333-2272 ext. 12 or visit monroecountycasa.org.