Last year, CASA advocates represented 225,000 children, and that number is truly admirable, but there are only enough volunteers to help half the youth in the system. When Phillip and I heard that, we knew we had to lend our support to raise awareness and attract more volunteers to help CASA with what they do best - giving a voice to a foster child who otherwise may not have a voice
Seattle, WA (PRWEB) February 3, 2009
Since being named official spokespersons for National Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Association's "Forgotten Children" campaign in the spring of 2008, Dr. Phil McGraw, the host of the syndicated daytime talk show DR. PHIL, and his wife Robin McGraw, have helped increase volunteer inquiries to the organization's Web site this year by more than 45 percent. It was announced today by CASA chief executive officer Michael Piraino. In 2008, for the first time in National CASA's history, traffic to the organization's Web site garnered more than one million visits in one calendar year.
Web traffic to the National CASA site generates a large portion of volunteer and donor inquiries, on which CASA is primarily dependent. Due to the Dr. Phil and Robin partnership, inquiries to CASA rose by more than 60 percent, CASA's largest number of inquiries in one year since its inception 31 years ago. A record 29,000 volunteer inquiries were recorded in 2008.
National CASA Association, along with Dr. Phil and Robin, launched the Forgotten Children campaign nationally in May 2008. The campaign is an effort to raise awareness of foster children and recruit much-needed CASA volunteer advocates who work together with the court system in the best interests of foster children.
Dr. Phil and Robin McGraw have a long-standing interest in improving the lives of foster children, and putting family first.
According to Piraino, the Dr. Phil and Robin partnership has helped provide broader awareness, more volunteers and additional financial support for the foster children in need that CASA serves.
"These children deserve more from us as a nation. With Dr. Phil and Robin's support, we hope The Forgotten Children campaign will make CASA the most well-known child advocacy organization in the country," Piraino said. "We already have proof we're moving in that direction based on our Web traffic numbers."
National CASA hopes that with the Dr. Phil and Robin partnership and the substantial traffic increase to its Web site it will put the spotlight on the nation's 513,000 foster youth in need of support, potential volunteers as well as financial donors will come forward to help. With a network of more than 948 program offices nationwide, CASA recruits, trains and supervises volunteer adult advocates who help foster children find safe, permanent homes where they can thrive. When a CASA volunteer is involved, a child is less likely to move from home to home, and they are 95 percent less likely to re-enter the foster care system.
On February 6, Robin McGraw will draw attention to the newest crop of CASA volunteers when she will attend training courses and the swearing-in ceremony of the class by the Honorable Michael Nash, Presiding Judge, Juvenile Dependency Court. This will be featured in a future DR. PHIL show.
"Last year, CASA advocates represented 225,000 children, and that number is truly admirable, but there are only enough volunteers to help half the youth in the system. When Phillip and I heard that, we knew we had to lend our support to raise awareness and attract more volunteers to help CASA with what they do best - giving a voice to a foster child who otherwise may not have a voice," Robin McGraw said. "The goal of our campaign is to recruit enough new volunteers so over 300,000 abused and neglected children will have a CASA volunteer this year. And when I realized that wasn't enough, I knew it was my duty to become a CASA volunteer.
About The Forgotten Children Campaign
The Forgotten Children campaign kicked off May 19 with a dramatic display of 4,250 life size cutouts of children placed in the shadows of The Washington Monument, representing each child who entered the foster care system in that week alone. The campaign will continue throughout 2009, helping to raise awareness on a local level for CASA programs across the nation. The overall goal is to help raise $2.9 million that will go to fund local program growth and sustainability. Ultimately, National CASA hopes to use these funds to help provide a caring volunteer advocate to an additional 75,000 abused and neglected children.
About Dr. Phil
Dr. Phil McGraw has galvanized millions of people to "get real" about their own behavior and create more positive lives. Dr. Phil, his syndicated, daily one-hour series, is the second highest-rated daytime talk show in the nation. The show has been making headlines and breaking records since its September 2002 launch, when it garnered the highest ratings of any new syndicated show since the launch of The Oprah Winfrey Show 17 years prior.
The mission of the National Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Association, together with its state and local members, is to support and promote court-appointed volunteer advocacy for abused and neglected children so that they can thrive in safe, permanent homes. To learn more about National CASA and the Forgotten Children campaign, and how you can help bring stability to the life of an abused or neglected child, visit http://www.nationalcasa.org.