May 10, 2011

May is National Foster Care Month

CASA of Morris & Sussex Counties and Roots & Wings team up for Foster Care Month campaign
to raise awareness of issues facing foster children, teens and young adults  

All children deserve a safe, happy home—including the nearly 500,000 American youth in foster care. Young people in foster care especially need nurturing adults on their side because their own families are in crisis and unable to care for them.

Each May, we salute the compassionate people who make a difference by serving as foster parents, relative caregivers, mentors, advocates, social workers, and volunteers. Thanks to these unsung heroes, many formerly abused or neglected children and teens will either safely reunite with their parents, be cared for by relatives, or be adopted by loving families.

But some children in foster care are less fortunate. Most communities across the country are urgently seeking more everyday people to help these youth overcome their troubled childhoods and realize their full potential. No matter what their age, every young person in foster care benefits from a meaningful connection to a caring adult who becomes a supportive and lasting presence in his or her life.

The number and diversity of people who were once in foster care might surprise you. In fact, there are an estimated 12 million foster care alumni in the U.S. representing all walks of life. Behind this startling statistic are countless stories of children who grew up to be thriving adults, while others struggled with life’s challenges all alone. The difference between triumph and tragedy is very clear. Success stories come about when someone takes the time to offer comfort, provide support, give advice, or simply share a milestone moment with a youngster enduring a difficult family situation.                                                                                                                                                                           

President Obama has declared the month of May National Foster Care Month, in order to bring attention to this national, and local, issue.

Court Appointed Special Advocates of Morris and Sussex Counties (CASA) ( and Roots & Wings Foundation ( are two local organizations making a positive impact on the lives of these youth. CASA recruits, trains, and supervises community volunteers who speak up for the best interests of children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse and neglect. Roots & Wings provides young adults who age out of the foster care system in New Jersey with safe housing, educational support, counseling, and life skills in order to empower them toward self-sufficiency. In honor of Foster Care Month, we are joining together in this national campaign to bring awareness to the needs of children and teens who do not have permanent, safe, nurturing homes to call their own.

Please visit our websites or call us to learn more about the vital work of these two community organizations.  There are opportunities for volunteering and lending financial support.

About CASA of Morris and Sussex Counties

CASA of Morris and Sussex Counties is part of a statewide network of community-based, non-profit programs that recruit, screen, train, and supervise volunteers to “Speak Up for a Child” removed from home due to abuse or neglect. CASA is the only program in New Jersey that provides court-appointed and approved advocacy services for child victims in out-of-home placement. Visit or call 973-998-7590 for more information about CASA of Morris and Sussex Counties.

About Roots & Wings

Roots & Wings Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was established in 1999. What started as a collaborative, community-based volunteer operation has grown into a well-established organization made up of professional staff, trained mentors and dedicated volunteers.  From the beginning, Roots & Wings has been client-centered, providing nurturing support, safe housing, educational support and practical life skills to young adults who have aged out of the child welfare system.  Roots & Wings provides a foundation for this high-risk population of disadvantaged young adults on which they can build by replacing dependency with self-sufficiency.

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