Who are the children and youth we serve?
Each year, we provide CASA Volunteers for hundreds of boys and girls in the foster care system, who range in age from newborn to 18+. Their cases originate in Charlottesville, Albemarle, Greene, and Louisa, Virginia. More than 87% come from homes surviving at or below the federal poverty line. They are Caucasian, African-American, Multiracial, and Asian. Ten percent are Hispanic. But they all have one thing in common: they are part of our community.
Our kids and families live at the intersection of poverty, race, sexism, and ableism.
The dynamics of how our children and youth absorb this pandemic will follow patterns observed during and after Hurricane Katrina. In 2005, when Katrina devastated New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, a generation of young people bore the brunt of the long-term damage. The body of research conducted in the years since found that the likelihood of recovery among kids was directly linked to existing social disadvantages, namely poverty and race.
The economic pressure of the pandemic falls hardest on this population.
It is crucial for us to be prepared to meet the fallout. The survival and long-term recovery of all our kids depends on our ability to maintain strong, effective connections. We need to be there to help shore up their supports and establish new ones; to reduce their isolation and ensure that when this is over, they are in a better position to recover.
Change A Child's Story.
Piedmont Court Appointed Special Advocates, Inc. (CASA) is a nonprofit agency committed to advocating for children who are involved in the court process due to underlying allegations of abuse and neglect.
We recruit, screen, and train men and women from our community to take on this important role. Although they work independently, CASAs are not alone. They can always rely on the professional support and supervision of our staff.
Studies show that boys and girls who have CASA Volunteers receive more trauma-informed medical support, do better in school, spend less time in foster care, and find safe, permanent homes faster.
Being a CASA is not the easiest volunteer job, but it can be the most rewarding -- because when you change a child's story, it changes you.
Help spread the word about how we can change the lives of vulnerable children in our community. Become a Friend of CASA or a CASA Ambassador.