I am writing to make your readers aware that May is National Foster Care Month, a time when our attention should turn to the plight of children who are abused and neglected and whose parents are unfit or unable to care for them. Last year 1,207 children came through the foster care system in Hudson County, making us the county with the third largest population of foster children. There are many reasons people cannot raise their children but addiction to drugs or alcohol is the most prevalent one in Hudson County. Not only does addiction affect the lives of these children, but every serious social issue – poverty, domestic violence, homelessness, sexual abuse, immigration and inadequate health care – contributes to their difficulties.
How can the average person help? The simplest way to start is to get involved working with kids in your community. Become a tutor in a school or after school program or consider signing up to coach one of the hundreds of sports teams in Hudson County. You may end up helping foster children because they are here among us, attending our schools, playing in our parks. If you want to make a big impact, consider becoming a foster parent. Good nurturing homes are in short supply and can change the lives of foster children. For information about becoming a foster parent, call 1-877 NJ Foster.
Or you can become a CASA volunteer and learn how to fight for children in the system working toward securing a safe permanent home for each one. Currently we have 65 of Hudson County’s best people working on behalf of our foster children, but we always need more volunteers, particularly men. Our website: www.hudsoncountycasa.org gives instructions on how to get involved. As a CASA volunteer, you can change a foster child’s life and satisfy your desire to create a better community and better world.
Hudson County CASA
(Court Appointed Special Advocates)