CausesCommunity , Social Justice
Who We AreCurt Detjen shares the importance of CASA of the Fox Cities - “The Fox Cities L.I.F.E. Study alerted the community to the high rate of reported cases of child abuse and neglect in our region. We know our community can do a better job to provide a safe life for all our children,” said Curt Detjen, president/CEO of the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region. “CASA’s presence in our community gives real hope that these children will get the support they need from caring adults after incidences occur and ensures judges will have the information needed to make better decisions on when or if children should return to their homes. This is what a caring community does, and we’re optimistic about the impact CASA will have.” CASA of the Fox Cities’ advocates work in close partnership with Outagamie County Health and Human Services social workers, as well as Outagamie County judges and guardians ad litem to provide detailed information to help children find long-term, safe, permanent homes.
What We DoCASA of the Fox Cities misison is to advocate for abused and neglected children in our local courts, with community volunteers, to achieve placement in safe and permanent homes. CASA of the Fox Cities received its 501(c)3 nonprofit designation in September 2012. A group of dedicated founding Board of Directors members worked to engage additional board members and raise money so an executive director could be hired. On Sept. 30, 2013, Maria Turner began in the role of the agency's first executive director. On Nov. 26, 2013, the first group of 15 volunteer child advocates was sworn in by Judge John Des Jardins. The first case was assigned on March 3, 2014, and Volunteer Advocate Coordinator Mary Anne Vogt began March 10, 2013. At year-end 2014, we served 41 children and had 30 active volunteer advocates. Today, CASA of the Fox Cities serves over 130 children and is quickly approaching 200 children. CASA of the Fox Cities is one of seven Wisconsin programs affiliated with the National Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Association, which supports and promotes court-appointed volunteer advocacy so that every abused or neglected child can be safe, establish permanence and have the opportunity to thrive. In 1977, a Seattle juvenile court judge concerned about making drastic decisions with insufficient information conceived the idea of citizen volunteers speaking up for the best interests of abused and neglected children in the courtroom. From that first program has grown a network of more than 933 CASA and guardian ad litem programs that are recruiting, training and supporting volunteers in 49 states and the District of Columbia.