VOLUNTEER WITH MFCA PROJECTS
MFCA regularly organizes programs and events to serve local foster children, both domestic and refugee. These include welcome packages for new foster children, Ramadan and Eid gifts, clothing drives, and support groups.
To volunteer with MFCA, you can learn about our projects and check our upcoming events. Be sure to join and like our facebook page and fill out the contact form for volunteers.
VOLUNTEER AS A COURT-APPOINTED SPECIAL ADVOCATE (CASA)
A CASA (court-appointed special advocate) is a screened and trained volunteer appointed by a judge from the juvenile court to gather information, write reports, and make recommendations to the court that are in the best interest of the children. A CASA volunteer meets regularly with the children assigned to him or her and makes sure they don’t get lost or neglected in an overburdened foster care system. Usually assigned to one child or sibling group, a CASA commits to watching over a case until it is closed. For many foster children, a CASA may be the only consistent and dependable adult presence in their life.
CASA volunteers can expect to spend 10-15 hours a month gathering information and meeting with the child, lawyers, social workers, and teachers. The CASA prepares a formal report for the judge at each court hearing and presents recommendations. To become a CASA, volunteers must complete application forms, background checks, and an interview. The training includes 20 hours of instruction and courtroom observation, followed by a formal swearing-in.
CASAs are also known as guardian ad litem in some jurisdictions. To find out more about the CASA program and to locate a program in your vicinity, visit the national CASA website.
BE A SUPPORT PERSON FOR A LOCAL FOSTER FAMILY
A foster family has a mountain of newly acquired responsibilities, including transporting child/ren to parental visits, mental health and doctor appointments, financial support, and balancing fostering with the demands of family and work. Very few foster parents can do all of this alone; support people play an important role in the success of the foster placement.
In order to be licensed, foster parents must list support people who are willing to undergo background checks and provide back-up care and help. A support person can help with transportation, babysitting, and other logistics. Moreover, he or she can be an important source of moral support for both the foster parent and the foster child. The best foster families have a network of individuals supporting them and helping them provide the highest level of care for the foster child.
Even if you cannot be officially listed as a support person on a foster parent’s license, there are many ways to provide vital support for a foster family in your community. Cooking fresh meals, assisting with babysitting or transportation, helping with household chores, or offering financial support to cover the cost of day-care or private Islamic school (which will always exceed the monthly stipend) are a few ways to make fostering sustainable in the Muslim community.