19 March, 2020
Dear Friend of Boston CASA:
During this unprecedented time of need and challenge, vulnerable children in the foster care system are more at risk than most. These children, who have already suffered trauma and uncertainty in their lives, are now faced with isolation due to the necessity of social distancing. Boston CASA, always on the front lines and in the regular business of advocating for, coordinating and securing critical medical and therapeutic services for these children and youth is uniquely positioned to help.
We are up to the challenge and have mobilized our collective forces and connections with the following actions to date:
- Although restricted in having direct contact, CASA ‘s volunteers are stepping up their efforts and consistently checking in with the children, their families and providers through phone and virtual methods to offer support and assistance as well as identify any conditions which may place a child at immediate risk for harm or neglect;
- We have reached out to the First Justices and Chief Probation Officers in the juvenile courts and committed to increasing our contacts with children and families during this time. We have offered to assist the courts in any way we can to ensure the procurement or continuity of services to the children and families;
- We are in direct communication with the Department of Children and Families Regional Counsel to keep current with changing policies as the pandemic persists. DCF has restricted social workers from conducting home visits except in cases of reported instances of child abuse or neglect. Some residential placements for children are closing temporarily and those children are being sent home or to foster homes, increasing the demand for community services. We have pledged to increase our virtual contact with those children currently remaining in residential care or having been displaced by these closings. We will continue to partner with DCF to assist the agency in any way we can.
Our wrap around and individualized services are being utilized in new and creative ways to fill in the gaps and provide critical care to our foster youth and families. The relationships built between our CASA volunteers and the child(ren) they speak for are serving as a calming and reassuring presence --whether by phone, Facebook or Skype to these children who are feeling alone and lost in these days of uncertainty.
We are here today, tomorrow and at any time required, and we know that you are standing right beside us making it all possible through your support and generosity. Please contact me with any questions or concerns.
Thank you and stay healthy,