OCEAN COUNTY – Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Ocean County and A Birthday Wish have partnered to help children who have been abused or neglected. Currently, there are nearly 750 of these children annually in Ocean County living in out of home placement, with more needing court advocacy every year.
CASA of Ocean County exists to recruit, train and supervise community volunteers to work one-on-one with these children, advocating for their best interests in the court system. Essentially, CASA volunteers “speak up” for these children in the court and child welfare systems, making sure they are safe and well-cared for, are getting the services they need, and are placed in a permanent, safe, nurturing home as quickly as possible.
A Birthday Wish, located in Westfield, New Jersey, will bring some joy to the children served by CASA of Ocean County by granting each child’s birthday wish. Founded by Jane Hoffman in 2014, A Birthday Wish grants the birthday wishes of children in New Jersey foster care. To date, they have granted well over 1,000 birthday wishes throughout ten New Jersey counties. “Many of these children are victims of abuse or neglect, some have lost a parent, they need to know they matter on their birthday,” says Hoffman, who was inspired to start the nonprofit when she learned that many children and teens in foster care don’t receive a gift on their birthday.
“We are very excited to partner with A Birthday Wish, they will assist us in making sure the children we serve thrive while living in foster care.” says Executive Director of CASA of Ocean County, Vicki Weiss. Casa of Ocean County will be the 7th partnership with a Birthday Wish and looks forward to the unique opportunity to grant birthday wishes to foster children in Ocean County.
About CASA of Ocean County and A Birthday Wish
CASA of Ocean County is part of a statewide network of community-based, non-profit programs that recruit, screen, train and supervise volunteers to “Speak Up for a Child” removed from home due to abuse or neglect. CASA is the only program in New Jersey that uses trained volunteers to work one-on-one with children, ensuring that each one gets the services needed and achieves permanency in a safe, nurturing home. Visit casaofoceancounty.org for more information about CASA of Ocean County.
A Birthday Wish was founded with the steadfast commitment to let each child in New Jersey foster care know that they are special and that their life truly matters. A Birthday Wish exists to give children in New Jersey foster care a birthday gift and card selected specifically for them. In the process, A Birthday Wish works to raise awareness about the issues surrounding foster care and advocate for better ways to serve these wonderful children. For more information on A Birthday Wish please visit ABirthdayWish.org.