With the assistance of Wayne mayor, Chris Vergano; Paterson mayor, Andre Sayegh; Passaic County Sheriff Chief, Daryl Walton; and dozens of volunteers, board directors, and supporters, Passaic County CASA cut the ribbon on a new headquarters in order to serve additional children. The new office, which includes training and advocacy space, provides more than double the square footage than the previous location.
“Our mission is realized through our CASA volunteers who selflessly dedicate their time and energy to helping children in foster care. With this new space, we can build our volunteer capacity in order to serve more children,” said Erica Fischer-Kaslander, Executive Director of Passaic County CASA. “We’re now seeing more children than ever entering the child welfare system because of parental addiction to opiates. Even more concerning is that there has been an increase in newborn babies entering foster care. In order to address this tragedy, Passaic County CASA is in the midst of a major fundraising and volunteer recruitment drive to ensure that every child in the foster care system in the county has an advocate. Every child, regardless of circumstance, deserves an advocate looking out for their needs and wellbeing.”
Currently, Passaic County CASA has 125 volunteers who serve half of all children in the county’s foster care system. Some of the advocates work one-on-one with a single child, but many advocate on behalf of sibling groups. Passaic County CASA is currently hosting volunteer recruitment and fundraising match drive with a $150,000 grant from the Pamela and Craig Goldman Foundation. The match will support the non-profit’s plan to serve two-thirds of the total foster care population by late 2020 with the ultimate goal of serving every child in the system. The grant will match dollar-for-dollar all donations through May 31.