Meet Team CASA of Cook County!
In 2019, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Cook County has 19 amazing individuals who are running 26.2 miles all to support children in the Cook County foster care system who have experienced abuse, neglect, abandonment, or all three. Team CASA runners are raising funds so that these children can be matched with a CASA volunteer who will give them a voice in court and help them find a safe, permanent home.
The work of CASA of Cook County has never been more important! Illinois has recently been rocked by news reports of children dying from abuse. Governor J.B. Pritzker ordered an investigation of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and appointed a new head of the agency. As governor-elect, Mr. Pritzker said, “The most vulnerable people in Illinois are the children served by DCFS, and we must provide them the best services that our state can offer.”
There are currently 5,600 children in protective custody in Cook County. Children in the child welfare system have more challenges in terms of health, education, wellness, and other outcomes than any other single demographic group of children. But there is hope: when a child is matched with a Court Appointed Special Advocate studies have shown that the outcomes for the children can be greatly improved. Consider these statistics for children in Illinois who have a CASA volunteer advocate:
Safety: Less than 1% of children assigned a CASA re-entered protective care in 2018. There were no child deaths when a CASA was appointed.
Permanency: Children assigned a CASA have shorter lengths of time in protective care. 39% of children assigned a CASA left the foster care system vs. DCFS’s case closure rate of 25%.
Well-Being: CASA volunteers are trained to advocate in court for the educational needs and physical and mental health needs of children. Our volunteers are the one consistent, caring adult connection throughout a child’s time in protective care.
Donate to Team CASA of Cook County so that we can help even more children find safe, permanent homes. Our goal is to raise $50,000, and 100% of the funds raised will go directly to our child advocacy program.
Interested in running for Team CASA in the 2020 Chicago Marathon? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to get early notification when the slots open up! As with all charity teams, runners are required to raise or give $1,750 to the charity.