Thanks to a generous donor, Passaic County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) is closer than ever to providing an advocate to every child in the Passaic County foster care system.
In June, the Pamela and Craig Goldman Charitable Foundation presented Passaic County CASA with $100,000 to expand the organization’s capacity to serve more children in foster care. The funds were given to match those received during Passaic County CASA’s “An Advocate for Every Child” dollar-for-dollar matching gift campaign.
The Goldmans’ stated that Passaic County CASA’s proven track record informed their decision to support the organization.
“Passaic County CASA does a great job for the children who really need it,” Pamela Goldman said.
Craig Goldman echoed his wife’s sentiment, while adding a second reason for donating to the organization.
“If you’ve done well, you have an obligation to give back,” Craig Goldman said.
“CASA’s work will change the lives of many children and help ensure their success in the future,” he added.
Passaic County CASA empowers volunteer advocates to champion the best interests of children in the foster care system. Court Appointed Special Advocate volunteers, or CASAs, are compassionate, dedicated community members from all backgrounds who want to make a difference in children’s lives. Passaic County CASA provides in-depth, hands-on training to all volunteers, enabling them to be effective advocates.
After volunteers complete training, each person is paired with a child or siblings who are victims of abuse and/or neglect. Volunteers engage with the child or children, gather information about his or her needs from the family, caretakers, teachers, doctors, and caseworkers, and make informed recommendations to the family court about the child’s future. The role of a CASA volunteer boils down to advocating for what is in the best interest of the child/children.
In fiscal year 2019, Passaic County CASA experienced unprecedented growth. The Wayne-based non-profit ended the year with 133 trained, court-appointed volunteer advocates, the highest number since the organization’s inception in 2007. With the additional Court Appointed Special Advocate volunteers, CASA was able to serve 272 children in foster care, a nine percent increase from the previous year. Passaic County CASA’s office space also expanded following a move to a new location, around the corner from the organization’s previous address, which boasts double the square footage and can accommodate additional organizational growth.
“Through the support of Pamela and Craig Goldman, Passaic County CASA is poised for another banner year in fiscal year 2020,” Passaic County CASA Executive Director Erica Fischer-Kaslander said. “It is the commitment of our entire organization that each child victim of abuse and neglect will have the benefit of personal advocacy in order to reach a safe and permanent home. This is possible thanks to the support of donors like the Goldmans.”
For more information about Passaic County CASA, visit www.passaiccountycasa.org or call 973-832-4002.
Photo caption: Passaic County CASA Executive Director Erica Fischer-Kaslander, left, accepts a $100,000 donation, to match funds already raised by the organization, from Pamela and Craig Goldman. The funding will help recruit, train, and supervise compassionate advocates for children in foster care.