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As National CASA CEO Michael Piraino pointed out in a recent post on the National CASA blog, “The educational outcomes for foster youth read like a list of all the things we don’t want for our children: Lower grades, more behavior problems, higher rates of suspension from school, lower high school graduation rates, and very low postsecondary school completion rates.”
At Richmond CASA, the staff members from Chesterfield, Henrico and Richmond CASA held a workshop on September 30 called “The ABCs of Educational Advocacy” for CASA volunteers. About 70 people, most of whom were Chesterfield, Henrico or Richmond CASA volunteers, attended the training.
Lisa Bennett, Managing Attorney, of the JustChildren Program of the Legal Aid Center, and Bonnie Hathaway, Richmond CASA volunteer and certified educational surrogate, presented to volunteers. They focused on the legal aspects of special education and the specifics of how to effectively advocate for the educational needs of children within our communities.
Lisa helped volunteers understand the laws and regulations regarding children in special education, and the types of educational services that children in foster care should receive. Bonnie shared specific examples of how CASA volunteers could ensure that children were receiving the services and attention that best fit their needs in a school environment.