AAWGT: Making a difference in our community!
Full Circle News:
The Power of One ... Multiplied by Many
Announcing the AAWGT 2017 Grantees
AAWGT membership has voted to award a record $111,729 to eight area nonprofit organizations for the year beginning July 1. This brings our total investment since 2007 to more than $900,000–all contributions toward improving the lives of women and families in Anne Arundel County.
Fostering Hope: Perseverance in the Face of Adversity
Learning more about foster care and how children react&mcash;and grow to adulthood–in the system is the focus of AAWGT’s June 21 education program. Our speaker is Regina Calcaterra, author of the New York Times best-selling memoir, Etched in Sand. She and her siblings survived an abusive childhood, the foster-care system, and intermittent homelessness. Now a practicing attorney in New York, Regina is a powerful speaker who uses her own experiences to emphasize the power of resilience and optimism and the importance of education in overcoming obstacles. One reviewer noted that she “compassionately reinforces that no child is a lost cause” and that “simple acts of encouragement and kindness can forever impact the life of a child in need.”
For many abused or neglected children, a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteer is the only constant adult presence in their lives. Nobody longs for a safe, loving family more than a child in care. Historically, children with a CASA volunteer are far less likely to be bounced from one place to another or get stuck in long-term foster care.
Anne Arundel County CASA (AACCASA) helps ensure that children who have been identified as needing care by the Circuit Court find a path to safe, stable, permanent homes.
When the state steps in to protect a child, a judge appoints a CASA to provide factual, objective information and make independent recommendations that assist the court in making decisions that are in the child’s best interest. CASA volunteers are committed to their child until they are placed in loving permanent homes.
AACCASA has helped many children over the years. For example, Charlie went into foster care at the age of 14 after being neglected by his mother and being beaten by his mother’s boyfriend. He was shuttled from one foster home to another. Finally two years later, with the help of Charlie’s CASA, he was placed in a pre-adoptive foster home. He was adopted by his foster family when he was 17 1/2 years old. The AAWGT grant to AACCASA is used to partially fund the salaries of a training coordinator/case supervisor and a case supervisor. These staff members coordinate the volunteer training program and supervise CASA volunteers. Because of this funding, these staff members can work with more volunteers, thus allowing AACCASA to serve more children. Currently, 83 CASA volunteers are appointed to 100 children.
Find out about becoming a CASA here.