Every Child’s Right
A child has a right to feel safe, loved and cared for. An undeniable right to learn and grow and become the person they are destined to be. In our society the stewardship of a child’s rights rests primarily with family.
But too many families are in crisis, and too many children are lost in the process.
Over the course of any year, over 500 local children go through the child welfare system, a system full of well intentioned people trying their best to place children in what is hoped will be better circumstances.
But it is, after all, just a system—and an overtaxed one at that. Too often, a child can be placed in a different home from his sisters or brothers. Too often, a single child can move to three or five or 15 foster homes in merely a matter of a year or two. Too often, a child can languish for years without finding a stable home, only to ultimately “age out” of the child welfare system, without any family at all. As a result, these children are more likely to do poorly in school, more likely to exhibit behavioral problems, more likely to engage in risky behaviors such as drug and alcohol abuse and more likely to reenter the system.
The CASA Solution
Our solution to such injustices begins with a single volunteer. Not just a mentor or a special buddy. This volunteer is a Court Appointed Special Advocate, a CASA volunteer. Someone specially trained to know what is in a child’s best interest, and how to get those interests met by the system. Someone who knows how to help a child in this time of great vulnerability. A person who will fight for this child, against all odds, against power, against bureaucracy and shortsighted agendas. Fight until that child understands that he has a right to believe in himself and finds a safe and permanent family. To live a life of destiny, rather than a life of fate.
Today, more than 150 CASA volunteers are spread throughout Bartholomew, Decatur and Jennings counties. Because of CASA volunteers like these, more than 2,200 local children have found their way to a safe and permanent home.
CASA is the only program of its kind. Everything is built around one child and one adult advocate for that child. The CASA solution has been proven. Nobody needs to invent a new technology or method to achieve success. We know what works. In the child welfare and family court systems, it is nothing short of a revolution.
All of the funds raised at Night of a Thousand Jacks help support Advocates for Children's recruitment, training and support of the CASA volunteers who will lift up these children’s lives.
Learn more about Advocates for Children at apowerfulvoice.org.