June is National Reunification Month. Adults whose children are removed due to abuse or neglect are offered services such as parenting classes, therapy or addiction treatment so that they can be reunified with their children. If the family successfully addresses the problems that caused the children to be removed, the children can return home.
Parents don’t do this by themselves. Foster parents, attorneys, social workers, therapists and judges all help. Studies show that children who live with family have much better outcomes than those raised in foster care.
Court Appointed Special Advocates can help families reunify. We at CASA of Merced County hope all children can be safely returned to their families. Our highly trained volunteers are assigned to one child or sibling group in foster care, and stay with the child or children until their case is resolved. CASAs are appointed by a judge and report to the judge on the best interests of the child. They monitor progress made by the family, and the needs and wishes of the child.
Approximately 400 children are waiting for a CASA in Merced County. CASAs report that serving is an extraordinary opportunity and enriches their lives. To make a lasting difference, contact us at 209 722-2272 or www.mercedcasa.org. Training starts July 9.
Carol Etcheverry, Los Banos