For the nearly 500 children living in foster care in Prince George’s County, it often takes four years (twice the national average) to find a stable home. In those years, their Court Appointed Special Advocate may well be the only source of comfort and safety they have. Since 1992, CASA/Prince George’s has given a voice to abused and neglected children in the foster care system by screening, training, and supervising volunteer advocates and promoting the timely placement of children in stable homes. While attorneys are experts on the law, CASA volunteers are experts on the child and provide the long-term, best-interest advocacy that children in complex, frightening situations desperately need. Over the past three years, CASA/Prince George’s has supported and advocated for nearly 300 youth. For many, their advocate was the first adult on whom they could unconditionally rely. Your advocacy means everything.
CASA quickly pivoted its practices and, rather than slowing services, increased the frequency of communication with youth – from bi-weekly visits to weekly phone calls and video meetings. Volunteer recruitment and training occurred in three virtual information sessions and pre-service trainings resulting in new volunteers who stand ready to assist children who have been further traumatized during the pandemic. CASA successfully secured emergency grant funding and has distributed thousands of dollars in supplies, grocery cards and cell phone stipends since March.