Essex County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) celebrated their 25th anniversary of helping foster children find safe, permanent homes at the Ruby Red Shoe Ball in November at The Newark Club.
Special recognition was given to , West Caldwell, for their partnership with Essex County CASA. The project provided bags containing new belongings for children being placed into foster care in Essex County.
Led by teacher Christine Davison and principal Barbara Adams, the goal of the project was to help replace items the children were forced to leave behind in addition to giving Washington students the opportunity to learn about children in foster care.
Among some basic necessities that were purchased through classroom fund-raising, the age appropriate bags contained blankets made by the students, as well as a journal and pen so that they could write about their thoughts and feelings.
The fifth graders of Washington School raised over $200 for Essex CASA by selling handcrafted duct tape roses at Family Night in October. In addition, the students videotaped a heartfelt rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow that was played at the Ruby Red Shoe Ball.
CASA is an independent, court-authorized nonprofit organization that works through specially trained and supervised volunteers to promote the welfare of children in Essex County who have been removed from their homes because of abuse, neglect or abandonment. CASA serves as a foster child’s "voice in court” working to ensure that needed services and assistance are made available while helping to move the child towards a safe and permanent home.
CASA volunteers speak up for the best interests of abused and neglected children in court. CASA helps to provide information to Family Court Judges by using trained community volunteers to investigate the background of a foster care case and make recommendations to the Judge that will best help to move the child to a safe and permanent home as quickly as possible.