Beefsteak Dinner Benefiting Children in Foster Care
On November 9, 2012, CASA of Union County will hold a Classic Beefsteak fundraiser to support the organization’s mission to recruit, train, and supervise community volunteers to advocate for children in out-of-home placement (foster care).
The event will feature The Cameos, New Jersey’s favorite oldies group. Tickets will be $45 in advanced ($55 at the door) and the evening will include live entertainment by The Cameos, all you can eat beefsteak dinner, beer, wine, and soda. The 1950’s Classic Beefsteak will also have a cash bar, silent auction, and 50/50 raffle.
CASA volunteers are fact-finders for family courts in abuse and neglect cases. Advocates serve as the unbiased eyes and ears of the court. Their goal is to give the courts objective information it needs to make an informed decision about a child’s best interest. In the course of reporting for the courts, advocates often develop supportive relationships with abused and neglected children.
This was the case with Anna. Anna had been in and out of the foster care since she was ten years old. A CASA was appointed to work with Anna right before her 18th birthday. Anna quickly opened up to her CASA about issues and concerns that she was having. During one particular meeting in May she shared with her CASA that she was starting to get scared about what happens after graduation. According to her DYFS worker her education plan was to include cosmetology school because Anna had shared an interest in doing hair. However, when her CASA spoke to her, she stated that she wanted to go to college and possibly become a nurse.
Anna’s CASA immediately contacted her guidance counselor at school to set up a meeting regarding Anna’s desire to attend college. It was a very productive meeting, with the guidance counselor agreeing to help Anna apply to college, get letters of reference for her and help her develop a resume to use in her job search over the summer. Several weeks later, Anna spoke to her CASA and eagerly shared that she was accepted at the local community college.
Since its founding in 2005, CASA of Union County has trained nearly 200 advocates. These advocates have served over 250 foster children and helped facilitate 85 adoptions. There are currently more than 400 Union County children in foster care.