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Children are the silent victims of the opioid crisis. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every day, more children are becoming victims of the devastating opioid epidemic sweeping across the United States. Over the last five years, the number of children in foster care nationwide has risen 8 percent, a rise that public health officials increasingly attribute to the growing use of opioids. While lawmakers, public officials, and the media focus on the public health crisis, our job is to stand for the children. Every child impacted by the opioid crisis deserves the support of a caring, consistent and highly trained volunteer during the toughest time in their life.

Support a child victim of the opioid epidemic

Imagine the trauma of witnessing your parents’ overdose—or worse, death. National CASA’s nearly 1,000 state and local member programs are fighting this battle every day and seeing these heartbreaking stories up close. Our role has never been more important. 

“Police find a brother and sister alone. When they finally locate their mother, she has no idea where her children are.” 

“In the last four years we’ve had different judges, numerous parent aids, any number of social workers. Every time there’s a change, it’s like we start over again. The new person says, ‘Let’s try this with the mom.’

CASA Volunteer works cases with Opioids

But I’ve been on the case from the beginning. I can say, ‘We tried that two years ago, and it didn’t work.’ It’s been three years now, and these kids can’t wait.”

- CASA Volunteer

CASA volunteers have always been a relief to overburdened, underfunded child welfare systems. 

While caseworkers and attorneys may have a caseload of dozens, a CASA volunteer is looking out for one child or one sibling group. They work in the courtroom and community to make sure the child is not lost in the system.  

Give a child affected by addiction a CASA volunteer.

A CASA volunteer makes sure a child impacted by parental substance abuse has what he or she needs to heal and thrive. We put the child’s best interests first, knowing that when recovery is successful, children grow and develop best in their family of origin.

These children can’t wait. National CASA is working to recruit more volunteers to serve the children coming into care, update our volunteer training curricula to help our volunteers work with victims of this crisis, and raising awareness of the needs of the children impacted.

A Nationwide Strain on Foster Care Systems

  • Over the last five years, the foster care population has grown by 8 percent, while federal funding for foster care decreased by 2 percent over the same period.
  • From 2004 to 2013, the proportion of infants born exposed to drugs — mainly opioids — increased nearly sevenfold in rural counties across the country.
  • In Arizona, the number of children in foster care increased 63 percent from 2011 to 2015.
  • Maine has seen a 45 percent increase in its foster care population since 2011.
  • In one Ohio town, 1 in 5 babies are born with prenatal opioid exposure.
  • In one West Virginia family court, parental substance abuse is a factor in 80 percent of cases.
The US Department of Justice has supported CASA advocacy since 1985 through its Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
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