Rising number of foster children creates CASA crisis

With an influx of foster children, the need for court appointed special advocates skyrocketed.

As one of eight programs operated by Advocates for Children, CASA volunteers, through extensive training, help abused and neglected children currently in the custody of Bartow County Division of Family and Children Services.

“A CASA volunteer assesses the child’s situation by talking to anyone that knows the child and reports directly to the judge what is in the best interest of the child,” said Jennifer Wiggins Matthews, director of Marketing for Advocates. “Our goal is to advocate for a child in court until they have a safe and permanent home.”

Bartow County took in 149 children this year, 100 of those in five weeks in February and March, Juvenile Court Judge Velma Tilley said, citing statistics released Friday.

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