March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. It’s important to raise awareness about developmental disabilities, which are much more common than many people realize. Over 6 million people in the nation have developmental disabilities and as many at 1:6 children (17%) have one or more (National Today). For youth in foster care, these numbers are much higher for several reasons, including material substance abuse during pregnancy.
Youth in foster care with disabilities have a significantly more difficult time finding a permanent placement. Their success rate at school is also lower because of the complexity of navigating the special education system.
Having a CASA volunteer can have a very positive impact on the life of a foster youth with a developmental disability. A CASA volunteer can help with navigating the school system because they are trained on educational advocacy – they work with legal and child welfare professionals, educators, and service providers.
Studies show the research and effectiveness of having a court appointed special advocate, including addressing trauma, reaching permanent homes and enabling well-being over time. The program is an effective way to positively impact youth in foster care. (https://nationalcasagal.org/our-impact/research-and-effectiveness/)
If your or someone you know is interested in learning more about becoming a CASA volunteer here in Alaska, please contact us at 907-269-3513 or email email@example.com.
Together, we can help change a child’s story.