“It takes all of us, a village of everyday people, to standup and commit to making a meaningful differences in the lives of abused and neglected children, our children. And it starts very simply with one volunteer at a time.” (Hatchett, 2007).
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Judge Glenda is talking about the pitiable conditions of the children and families of color who form a majority of the abused and neglected lot. They are not given equal representation and it needs a long helping hand to rehabilitate them.
CASA is a program that is specially designed to help children who are destitute and left to foster care. It also helps families stay intact whenever possible. Founded in 1976, this group of advocates has a strong net work of 950 program officers and they conduct frequent training programs for their officers. They not only look into matters regarding abuse of children and their rehabilitation but also into disproportionality in child welfare programs. It is seen that the children on foster care do not stand on equal ground. African American, American Indian and Alaska Native children receive fewer support services for safety, stability and general well being..
Research shows that children and families of color in the child welfare system are often treated differently than non minority children and families. Researcher Robert B Hill, PhD says that minority children receive fewer and lower quality services, less foster parents support, fewer contacts by case works and less access to mental health and drug treatment. CASA outlines that Hispanic and Latino children are actually underrepresented. Apart from that they formulate ways to ensure that children and families of color are given national status and the officials are given adequate training in helping the colored to cherish and develop a sense of pride in their ethnicity and race
Hill, again argues that “there is something more about minorities having most stress and less income…..and then there are policies that gives agencies to remove children from family rather than serve them in their home.” (Austin p.6).
Casey family programs are working on to bring national attention to the over presentation of children of color in the child welfare system. They argue that only 15% of the children of the total population are American African. They have also collaborated with Race Matters Consortium to reduce racial disproportionality in the system. Knowing Who You Are is Casey’s top priority program to develop healthy racial and ethnic identity. (Austin 7) Race Matters Consortium is a similar organization which works round the clock to fight against racial disproportionality in the system. (Austin p.6).
In order to contribute significantly in this area, the group conducted Knowing Who You Are training sessions for their strong network and are gradually updating themselves with the loop holes and positive aspects of their program
CASA intends to tell its advocates to look into the mater of disproprotionality individually in their respective regions and work with other national organizations in the promotion of child welfare and the removal of disproportionality. They are surging ahead with this aim in view.
Hatchett, Judge Glenda A. (2007). National Casa. Web.
Austin, Lisette. Cover Story: The Disproportionate Representation of Children and Families of Color in the Child Welfare System. CASA: Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children. P.6. Web.