Guest editorial: May is National Foster Care Month

By on May 19, 2011

by Jan Ramming
Program and Outreach Coordinator
CASA Kane County

Each May, National Foster Care Month provides an opportunity to shine a light on the experiences of the more than 400,000 children and youth in the foster care system. The campaign raises awareness about the urgent needs of these young people and encourages citizens from every walk of life to get involved—as foster or adoptive parents, volunteers, mentors, employers or in other ways.

With the help of dedicated people, many formerly abused or neglected children and teens will either reunite safely with their parents, be cared for by relatives or be adopted by loving families. Thanks to the many advocates, child welfare professionals, elected officials and support groups around the country, the total number of children in foster care has decreased over recent years.

CASA volunteers are ordinary people who do extraordinary things for abused and neglected children in the foster care system. Candidates must complete 40 hours of training before being sworn in by the Juvenile Court Judge. Their responsibilities include meeting monthly with the children on their case, attending meetings with the children’s teachers, caseworkers and foster parents, and preparing a report for the judge prior to all court hearings. CASA’s speak up for the best interests of these young victims during a difficult time. Last year, the CASA Kane County program volunteers served over 500 children.
Please help ensure that these children are not forgotten. For more information on becoming a CASA Kane County volunteer, visit www.casakanecounty.org or call us at (630) 232-4484. Our next general information meeting is Thursday, May 19 at 6 p.m. at Grahams 318, 318 S. Third St., in Geneva. You can be the difference in the life of a child.