June 21, 2022
Celebrating family — a message from our CEO
SEATTLE, Washington – June is nationally recognized as Reunification Month— a critical opportunity to share the importance of children and youth in foster care reunifying with their family. At the National CASA/GAL Association for Children, we know that connections to family give children and youth a sense of belonging and love. Our model for best-interest advocacy is driven by the guiding principle that children grow and develop best when they can safely be with their family.
At our National CASA/GAL 2022 Annual Conference earlier this month in Seattle, the importance of strengthening and keeping families together served as a central theme for the learning, exchange and celebration we engaged in. Over 840 volunteers, staff, partners and peers heard from speakers such as Zion Clark – an athlete and author – who found family just days before aging out of care – and Andrea Elliott, two-time Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author of Invisible Child, about the human cost to structural inequality and the importance of family. Youth with lived experienced in care lifted their voices to share stories of resilience through performance, poetry and panel discussions. With their view from the bench, judges shared perspectives on family preservation and child welfare experts led workshops on topics ranging from finding families and kinship care, to working with children of incarcerated parents and the implications for implementation of 2018’s Family First legislation.
The gathering of our network also afforded us an opportunity to celebrate the National CASA/GAL “family”. We renewed our connections to one another, honored extraordinary achievements at our Awards of Excellence luncheon and took a special moment to appreciate the passion and dedication of CASA/GAL volunteers at our 2nd annual CASA/GAL Volunteer’s Day. All of this was made possible through your generous support – our “family” of sponsors, partners and donors.
As we celebrate and acknowledge the incredible value of families coming together this month, I thank you for all you do to advance our mission, and for supporting us as we work collectively to help families that are working to strengthen and reunify.
Tara Lisa Perry
CEO, National CASA/GAL Association for Children