CASA seeks advocate for every Passaic County child

Make text smaller Make text larger

To the Editor:

Every day, five children die from child abuse and neglect in our country.

Unfortunately, it is too late to save these children through advocacy and awareness.

However, there are more than 4 million referrals annually to child protective services. For those children, we must fight to raise awareness and provide a voice to champion their best interests.

During May, which is Foster Care Awareness Month, Passaic County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) launched “An Advocate for Every Child” campaign with the goal of providing a compassionate, dedicated volunteer advocate to every child in the Passaic County foster care system.

As the Executive Director of Passaic County CASA, I know that with more than 500 children locally in foster care each year, this is no small task.

But I have also seen first-hand how children in foster care benefit from having a CASA volunteer on their side.

“An Advocate for Every Child” is a considerable yet attainable goal that will positively affect the wellbeing of children in foster care, as well as the entire Passaic County community.

Passaic County CASA will achieve “An Advocate for Every Child” by empowering volunteer advocates to champion the best interest of children in the foster care system. Our organization recruits, trains and supervisors members of the community to work one-on-one with a child or group of siblings who have been removed from home due to abuse or neglect and placed into a confusing, broken system.

These wonderful volunteers help ensure that our county’s most vulnerable children get their needs met and achieve a safe and permanent home as soon as possible.

Our CASA volunteers have guided many children toward success.

For example, a young girl who caught up academically with her class even after losing four months of school because she moved three times in the last year, or the teen who received a scholarship even though only 3% of foster youth are able to graduate from college, or the boy who was finally reunited with his parents after a year in foster care because they received the help that they so desperately needed.

In May, National Foster Care Month, Passaic County CASA experienced major successes and grew by leaps and bounds.

In the beginning of the month, we moved into an office with double the square footage, which will allow for more capacity to serve more children.

CASA staff hosted four volunteer information sessions throughout the month, where community members from across the county gathered to learn about how they can help support children in foster care.

Our trained CASA volunteers represented their CASA child’s best interest at 78 court hearings and provided the Family Court with 78 reports on the child’s physical, emotional, developmental, and educationally needs.

But always in the back of my mind, in May and year-round, is that not every child in the Passaic County foster care system has the benefit of a CASA volunteer advocate.

Every child in foster care should be comforted knowing that one person, no matter what, will be by their side during their time in foster care.

As a community, we must speak up and stand up for those who cannot speak for themselves.

Everyone can do something to help alleviate the trauma children experience in foster care—by becoming a CASA volunteer and advocating for a child; training to be a CASA Ambassador to represent CASA at events; holding a fundraiser to support more children; donating new items or funds; or attending our annual No Place Like Home Tricky Tray and/or Voice for Children Gala.

No matter how you become a part of Passaic County CASA, you will become part of a child’s success story. Learn more at

Erica Fischer-Kaslander,

Executive Director, Passaic County CASA

Make text smaller Make text larger


Pool Rules


GLC: Montclair State to conduct testing on Greenwood Lake
Greenwood Lake Commission Co-Chairman Paul Zarrillo said Thursday that Montclair State University will conduct testing Friday at 17 locations on both the New York and New Jersey...
Read more »

Township opening Bubbling Springs for free weekend due to heat, lake swimming ban
With a harmful algal bloom advisory and closed beaches on Greenwood lake as well as forecasted hot and humid conditions this weekend, Mayor Michele Dale announced that the lake at...
Read more »

Desperados country rock band to play at library
West Milford. Get ready to discover your favorite songs when the Friends of the West Milford Township Library welcome The Desperados on Monday, July 29. Join attendees under the...
Read more »

Honoring 'Mr. Lou'
Scouts and Scout leaders from Troop 159 (Our Lady Queen of Peace of Hewitt) gathered to thank Mr. Lou Muto, owner of DeMarco's Restaurant and former
scout of Troop 159, for a...

Read more »


Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Community Newspapers


Local News
Honoring 'Mr. Lou'
  • Jul 17, 2019
Honor Rolls/Dean's List
WMHS alumnus earns Pharm D degree
  • Jul 17, 2019


West Milford, NJ