The Advocate: 4th Quarter 2022
Bergen CASA’s advocacy is stronger than ever! Since the onset of the pandemic, we have
continued to serve all eligible children in foster care. To date this year, we trained 16 new
Advocates with our four newest Advocates being matched and appointed to their foster
children within hours of being sworn in. One indomitable new Advocate appeared in court the
very next day! We provided 400 fully stuffed backpacks this fall and distributed formula and/or
diapers to over 30 families. You have driven over 4,644 miles on behalf of your appointed
children and handed out over 60 birthday gifts! WOW!
Numbers aside, please read the article about the Rutgers study commissioned by NJ CASA
which has given our programs a resounding endorsement. Great news we are bringing back our
very successful CASINO night at Seasons in Washington Township on March 22, 2023. Please
hold the date and plan to attend as we guarantee it is going to be lots of fun.
Our vulnerable children need their CASAs more than ever as they enter foster care having
experienced greater abuse, trauma, and neglect than in the past—and so do our foster parents.
To that end, we are collaborating for the first time with the Division and Embrella to hold a
foster parent support/training for approximately 40 foster parents from Bergen and Hudson
County on November 16, 2022. The focus will be on informing them about the impact of
trauma on foster youth and offer strategies to help with stabilizing placements.
I cannot leave this letter without telling you about my ambitious goal – to start a Fostering
Futures program. The objective of the program is to train Advocates to become mentors,
enabling them to accompany their appointed youth to programs, events, etc. which may not
have been easily available to them otherwise. This will be a huge game-changer for those of
you working with teens and preteens as it will focus on the future potential of our youth.
I especially appreciate you now when our families are still stressed from the repercussions of
COVID-19, exacerbated by recent cost-of-living increases for food, gas, and clothing. I am
looking forward to personally thanking all of your at our annual Mingle and Jingle on December
14, between 4pm and 7pm!