Rep. Porter Spearheads Bipartisan Resolution to Honor Volunteers Working in Foster Care System
Resolution Would Officially Recognize May 18th as “CASA/GAL Volunteer’s Day”
Washington, May 18, 2021
Tags: Protecting Women
Congresswoman Katie Porter (CA-45) today introduced a bipartisan resolution to recognize specially-trained volunteers who advocate on behalf of child survivors of abuse, neglect, and abandonment in courtrooms and other settings. The CASA Volunteer’s Day Resolution would honor Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) and Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) volunteers for their life-changing work with children experiencing abuse or neglect.
“For many child survivors of abuse and neglect, Court Appointed Special Advocates and Guardians Ad Litem are the only adults standing up for them during a scary and difficult time,” said Porter. “I am proud to work across the aisle to acknowledge how our CASA and GAL volunteers, who are real lifelines for vulnerable kids, give children a consistent, reliable advocate for their wellbeing.”
Porter’s resolution is co-led by Reps. Don Bacon (NE-02), John Yarmuth (KY-03), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), Lucy McBath (GA-06), and Ashley Hinson (IA-01). The resolution is endorsed by CASA National and FosterStrong. Similar legislation will be introduced in the Senate by Sherrod Brown (OH) and Todd Young (IN).
Court Appointed Special Advocates and Guardians Ad Litem operate in 49 states and the District of Columbia. Their network includes 948 state and local programs that support more than 96,000 volunteers and 277,000 families.
“Every child deserves a safe and permanent home, but for many of the youth entering the foster system, they have experienced abuse or neglect and may not be trusting of those who are trying to help them,” said Rep. Bacon. “The volunteer advocates with the CASA and GAL programs provide a reassuring approach to these children. Someone who listens and cares about what they have experienced and what they need in a permanent home. These specially-trained volunteers are a powerful force for our children in the foster care system.”
“Court Appointed Special Advocates and Guardians Ad Litem play an invaluable role in communities across our nation, advocating on behalf of children in their most critical times of need,” said Rep. Yarmuth. “The work these brave individuals do has the power to transform young peoples’ lives, and I’m proud to join this bipartisan and bicameral group of colleagues in recognizing the tremendous work of these volunteers and thanking them for their service.”
“During National Foster Care Month, Congress must recognize the importance of Court Appointed Special Advocates and Guardian Ad Litem programs in supporting at-risk children and youth in our nation’s foster care system,” said Rep. Fitzpatrick. “I am proud to support this bipartisan resolution, which will raise awareness regarding the challenges of the child welfare system and celebrate the efforts of the CASA volunteers who advocate for our children and give them the opportunity to thrive.”
“For abused or neglected children, a dedicated advocate can provide the care and compassion they long for. I’ve been so pleased to see the work CASA and their volunteers do across our nation to support children, stand up for their interests, and advocate on their behalf,” said Rep. McBath. “CASA volunteers are truly ‘for the child,’ and this resolution will honor the tireless, selfless work of CASA volunteers and help spread awareness about the importance and power of their care.”
“Court Appointed Special Advocates and Guardian Ad Litem volunteers are dedicated to helping at-risk youth in our foster-care system,” said Rep. Hinson. “I am proud to join a bipartisan group of my colleagues to officially recognize May 18th as CASA/GAL Volunteer’s Day. There are countless examples of vulnerable children whose lives have been changed for the better thanks to the support of CASA. Selfless CASA and GAL volunteers deserve recognition for their service to abused and neglected youth across this country.”
“Every young person deserves a safe and stable place to call home— and so many more have that home now, thanks to the work of Ohio’s CASA and GAL volunteers. Even in the midst of a pandemic, volunteers in Ohio served almost 10,000 children last year and continue to play a vital role by helping protect and support foster youth every single day. We must honor them, and continue working to ensure they have the resources to uplift the voices and needs of children in their communities,” said Sen. Brown.
“Indiana is home to one of the largest Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) and guardian ad litem (GAL) volunteer programs in the nation, advocating for Hoosier children facing abuse or neglect in 86 counties. They spend time with each child to get to know the heart of their case, and genuinely care for these young people so that they have the opportunity to thrive. This year, I’m proud to co-lead a Senate resolution commemorating CASA/GAL volunteers’ work on behalf of youth by marking May 18, 2021, as the first-ever CASA/GAL Volunteers’ Day. On May 18th, and every day, we must recognize and celebrate each and every volunteer who advocates for children in our foster care system,” said Sen. Young.
A single mom of three school-aged kids, Congresswoman Porter has been a staunch advocate for families throughout her time in Congress. She recently reintroduced legislation to more than double the amount of pre-tax income families can set aside for dependent care and has fought to strengthen the child tax credit. In her first term, Porter secured House support for increasing funding for Court Appointed Special Advocate programs nationwide. She has twice voted to renew the Violence Against Women Act, which protects the children of survivors of domestic violence.