As I gather the monthly statistics for June, I am pleased to report a new record of service for . There are currently 141 CASA volunteers advocating for 304 abused and neglected children in our community. This is the greatest number of children served at one time by Fairfax CASA in our 23 year history.
The diligence of our exceptional staff has made this possible. Last fall, our volunteer supervisors pledged to assign cases more quickly, to encourage veteran volunteers to take on two cases at once, and to assign a new case to each volunteer as soon as possible after a case closes. Their tenacity paid off, and now more children than ever have a trained advocate fighting for their safe and promising future.
Unfortunately, organizational effectiveness cannot always keep pace with the tide of new referrals. If we were managing last year’s court referrals, we would be nearing full service. Instead, there are 57 children waiting for a CASA volunteer today due to a 21 percent increase this year in the number of children needing court protection. We need more volunteers to serve them.
Consider the trauma inflicted on these children and you will understand the urgency of our mission.
- There is the pre-teen girl whose mother’s violent boyfriends beat and sexually abused her.
- A baby who suffered bone fractures and a brain hematoma at the hands of his parents.
- Siblings living in chaos while their parents struggle with substance abuse and mental health issues.
We will not claim complete success until each of these children is assigned a CASA volunteer to champion their rights.
As we continue to aggressively recruit more volunteers, we hope that you will join us in this effort. Please tell your friends and neighbors about CASA volunteering. You may know someone who is ready to lift up a child’s life. We must not let children wait.