Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for Children of Bergen County is an independent, nonprofit organization of professionals and trained volunteers who have been appointed by the NJ Family Court to advocate for children removed from their homes due to abuse and/or neglect. CASA works to ensure that needed services and assistance are made available to these children while helping to move them toward safe and permanent homes.
Snapshot of CASA for Children of Bergen County
- 12 years old – opened in August 2003
- 1 full time employees; 5 part time employees
- 33 volunteer trainings held to date
- over 350 volunteers trained
- 495 children advocated for to-date
- 50,750 hours donated by CASA volunteers
- Advocate for the best interests of children in out-of-home placement and under the jurisdiction of the New Jersey Superior Court, Family Part, in Union County.
- Recruit, screen, train and supervise volunteers who are appointed by the family court to assist the court in gathering relevant information about the child and the family through file reviews and interviews with participants such as the child, parents, foster parents, relatives, teachers, doctors and social workers.
- Establish and maintain effective relationships with the family court, the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCPP), Child Placement Review Board, Office of the Public Defender, Legal Aid, and other child serving agencies/institutions, in order to create a cooperative environment which to best meet the needs of children.
- Educate the community about the role of CASA for Children of Bergen County in the lives of children in out-of- home placement. Represent the CASA program at local and county level organizations concerned with child welfare.
10 Facts About Child Abuse
- Every day, about four children die in the U.S. because of abuse or neglect, most of them babies or toddlers.
- For every incident of child abuse or neglect that gets reported, it’s estimated that two others go unreported.
- Neglect is by far the most common form of child abuse, accounting for more than 60% of all cases.
- Physical abuse accounts for between 15% and 20% of documented child abuse cases each year.
- A third of all girls and a fifth of boys are sexually abused by an adult during childhood.
- 8 out of 10 sexual abusers are someone in the family or someone the child knows.
- About 10% of babies are born to drug-using mothers.
- Of kids who have a parent who uses drugs, one in 13 is physically abused regularly.
- Abused children are more likely to abuse alcohol and become addicted to drugs, and one third will later abuse their own children.
- Of all prison inmates, 84% were abused as children.
In the state of NJ, every citizen, regardless of occupation, is a mandatory reporter of child abuse and/or neglect. If you suspect someone is being abused or neglected, please call the state child welfare hotline at 1-877-NJ-ABUSE (1-877-652-2873)