Appleton, Nov. 14, 2013 – CASA of the Fox Cities, Inc. invites the community to attend an Open House from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Nov. 20 as a way of opening eyes surrounding the plight of local abused and neglected children and how CASA advocates will make a difference within Outagamie County courts.
“We are very close to swearing in our first group of volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocates and invite the community to share in the celebration surrounding that significant step in our agency’s mission fulfillment,” said Executive Director Maria Turner. “This is a time for anyone from perspective volunteers and donors to community partners to drop in, see our office space, meet our board members, volunteers and staff and learn what our plans are for providing crucial support to abused and neglected children.”
Typically, children who have “Child in Need of Protective Services” (CHiPS) orders are those eligible for appointment of a special advocate. In Outagamie County, this ranges from 150 to 200 children annually. According to the Fox Cities L.I.F.E. Study, the rates of reported child abuse and neglect cases is of particular concern, as both “Outagamie and Winnebago counties show a substantial increase since 2001, exceeding the Wisconsin average in 2009.”
“The Fox Cities L.I.F.E. Study alerted the community to the high rate of reported cases of child abuse and neglect in our region. We know our community can do a better job to provide a safe life for all our children,” said Curt Detjen, president/CEO of the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region. “CASA’s presence in our community gives real hope that these children will get the support they need from caring adults after incidences occur and ensures judges will have the information needed to make better decisions on when or if children should return to their homes. This is what a caring community does, and we’re optimistic about the impact CASA will have.”
CASA of the Fox Cities’ advocates will work in close partnership with Outagamie County Health and Human Services social workers, as well as Outagamie County judges and guardians ad litem to provide detailed information to help children find long-term, safe, permanent homes.
“This level of collaboration among public employees in Outagamie County and the volunteers and staff of CASA of the Fox Cities will ensure vulnerable children have even more advocacy within our social service and judicial systems,” said Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson. “Such support is shown to reduce the need for juvenile detention/incarceration, as well as other taxpayer-funded services as these children grow into adulthood. It will have a meaningful impact not only on our systems, but more importantly, in positively affecting the lives of each child appointed to a CASA volunteer.”
The drop-in is open to the public, runs 4 to 6:30 p.m. and will featured donated refreshments.