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Grant supports advocacy of LGBTQ youth in foster care

CASA logo: Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children

In 2017, the Gay Community Endowment Fund awarded a $2,500 grant to the CASA Board Volunteer Association to support a community awareness campaign about the needs of LGBTQ youth in the child welfare system.

Beth Cardina, president/executive program director of the CASA/GAL Program of Summit County, said CASA is seeking volunteers to work with youth who identify as LGBTQ. They are currently in the planning stages of a targeted campaign to recruit volunteers to advocate for these children. CASA - or Court Appointed Special Advocates - is a Summit County program that is housed at the Juvenile Court on Dan Street in Akron.

"Some children are rejected by their birth families when they identify as LGBTQ," Beth said. "And while most children involved in the child welfare system face challenges, these increase exponentially when an LGBTQ youth is mistreated and spends time in foster care. We have an educational component for CASA volunteers to ensure these children are placed in a welcoming family where the child will be accepted without rejection. We need volunteers to advocate for them."

CASA is partnering with CANAPI, the Community AIDS Network/Akron Pride Initiative, to garner prospective volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering or would like to learn more about the program, contact Beth at 330-643-2514 or visit

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