In FY22, Fairfax CASA received appointments from the Fairfax Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court for 98 new children. We served a total of 267 children in all of FY22. Those numbers were the lowest in many, many years. We assumed the reduction in numbers was due to a combination of factors: Children were not being seen during the shutdown due to the pandemic; reports were down to CPS; and, Families First took effect, which pushes DFS to reduce placement of children in non-family based placements, and instead place children in the least restrictive, most family-like setting appropriate available.
Since July 1st, our office has received 94 new children, meaning that just four months into FY23, we have received 96% of what we received in all of FY22. Additionally, we have served 257 children to date, also 96% of the total number of children served in all of FY22. If this trend continues, we are on track to at least 50% more children this year, over FY22, 35% more than in FY21, and 20% more than in FY20.
COVID has resulted in tremendous upheaval and changes in our country, as well as across the world. We have seen a significant increase in cases involving domestic violence, substance use, and cases that involve mental health issues. Our country is divided, our people are hurting and struggling, and our children are suffering.
Now, more than ever, we need people from our community to step up and volunteer to become a CASA volunteer. Now, more than ever, we need dedicated adults to be the voice of an abused child. Now, more than ever, we need your help. Please consider joining us, as we work to ensure that no child in Fairfax slips through the cracks of the child welfare system.