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Serving Victims of the Opioid Crisis

Serving Victims of the Opioid Crisis

The rate of children entering foster care because of parental drug abuse is up for the sixth year in a row.

Our Work

Our volunteers are more important than ever

While substance abuse is not a new phenomenon, widespread addiction to opioids has been making headlines across the country. Law enforcement, public health officials, and policy makers are working to stem the tide of overdose deaths and hold accountable those responsible for this nationwide public health crisis.

Often overlooked are the tens of thousands of children who are coming into foster care every year as a result of the opioid crisis. Courts are struggling to cope with the influx of cases. Child welfare officials are managing record caseloads and budget shortages.

Our job is simpler, but equally important.

Our job is to stand for these children.


Of the children in foster care

1 in 3

are there because of a parent's addiction


15 minutes

a baby in withdrawal from opioids is born

opioid deaths were

6x higher

in 2017 than 1999

Court appointed special advocate (CASA) and guardian ad litem (GAL) volunteers are appointed by judges to make sure no child victim gets lost in the system and to ensure that each child finds the road to a safe, permanent home as quickly as possible. CASA and GAL volunteers are caring, compassionate adults who stand by child victims of the opioid crisis and speak for them when they cannot speak for themselves.

CASA and GAL volunteers spend millions of hours each year standing up for child victims of the opioid crisis. These precious hours spent one-on-one with a familiar face can make all the difference to a child with a profound sense of uncertainty.

Every time a court appointed special advocate (CASA) or guardian ad litem (GAL) volunteer comes back, provides an update, follows up, or remembers a detail from their last visit builds trust and creates a sense of security.

These stories are real.

These stories are real.

An 11-year-old calls 911. She doesn’t want to tell on her parents, but she’s terrified that they’re dying.

Read More

The National CASA/GAL Association is working to raise awareness of the impact of the opioid crisis on children, grow our nationwide volunteer base, and update our volunteer training resources.

The issues surrounding opioid addiction are complex. What makes our volunteers so effective is the investment that we make in their ongoing training and supervision.

We also need more volunteers in the door. To grow our volunteer base to serve all the children coming in to foster care, we need to build the capacity of our programs, especially in areas hardest hit by the crisis. To do that, the CASA/GAL network needs to scale up, including hiring new staff members who can support an influx of new volunteers.

Help us serve every child affected by the opioid crisis.