Bergen CASA has been working very hard and the statistics prove it. We are now serving just shy of 100% of this county’s foster children and since the pandemic closed our offices in March 2020, we have appointed an Advocate to every child removed from their homes, (for more than just a couple of weeks). Bergen CASA served 133 children in FY 21. We trained 21 new Advocates remotely in the same period. Additionally, 105 Advocates donated 5,945 hours. Of the cases that closed in FY 21, over 90% involved placing children into permanent homes.
I am incredibly pleased to share that our Holiday Toy Drive was a terrific success (due to Lauren’s indomitable energy and patience). We gave out toys to over 250 children, not only our foster children but also children under the ‘Care and Supervision’ of the Division. Boxes from Amazon flooded the office along with many generous private donations. The best part is, we are still handing out items and this week filled a Division Caseworker’s car with toys, games, and activities for children from several needy families!
Our toy drive has led to a baby drive! With rising costs, new babies to assist, and the Division opening their offices for visitation, we had to help. We posted a wish list for diapers, clothing, wipes, and formula on our Facebook page. This initiative is helping to support our baby’s needs and providing moms with baby basics during their visitation time.
Embracing Independence Day must be remote again this year. Right now, we are collecting prizes to incentivize our teens to participate in games that will also inform them of many of their rights and financial benefits. Additionally, Chanell Star who shared valuable guidance on communicating with adolescents for our advocates recently, has agreed to be the keynote speaker.
I am thrilled to tell you that we hired Jaime Wisz as our new Development Manager. Jaime brings a wealth of experience to help us with our fundraising and outreach (This newsletter would not have happened without her!).
Also, we are planning our next “Fore the Kids,” Golf Outing on July 11, 2022, and a 5K walk/run this fall, so stay tuned!
I cannot thank you enough for your invaluable advocacy and for your generous support which is the foundation of this wonderful program.