Empowering Every Child: FITNESS PROJECT’s Growing Partnership with CASA for Justice-Involved Youth Initiative!

Nov 15, 2023

We Rise By Lifting Others!

In the spirit of community empowerment and transformative initiatives, FITNESS PROJECT is proud to announce the expansion of its 3-year+ partnership with CASA Child Advocates of Montgomery County. As part of our commitment to supporting local communities, FITNESS PROJECT is now sponsoring the first four (4) Advocates on CASA’s groundbreaking juvenile “Justice-Involved Youth Initiative” program. This initiative will prioritize the welfare and future of young individuals who have faced involvement with the justice system. With a vision of positive change and rehabilitation, Child Advocates of Montgomery County is taking a significant step toward shaping the future of Justice-Involved Youth. By offering specialized training, dedicated support, and a focus on rehabilitation, CASA aims to make a positive difference in the lives of these young individuals and empower them to build a brighter future. Working together, we can help these youth navigate a path towards success and a positive community impact.

CASA is embarking on an innovative journey to broaden its advocacy efforts beyond the child welfare system, collaborating with Judge Scharlene W. Valdez and Judge Wayne L. Mack in Montgomery County. This pilot initiative, a first-of-its-kind in the state of Texas, aims to extend the organization’s reach to justice-involved youth and truancy courts, creating a ripple effect of positive change in the lives of children and families.

Understanding the Initiative: A Pioneering Approach

The juvenile “Justice-Involved Youth Initiative” marks a significant milestone for CASA Child Advocates of Montgomery County. The initiative focuses on working collaboratively with the juvenile justice system and school districts to address working collaboratively with the justice system to address the unique needs of children involved in legal matters and truancy cases. By partnering with youth and their families, CASA aims to provide crucial support and resources to ensure the well-being and success of justice-involved youth.

This groundbreaking program expands CASA’s mission to advocate for the best interests of children, creating a comprehensive support system that goes beyond traditional child welfare advocacy.

“Child advocacy in any setting is at the core of what we do,” said Ann Marie Ronsman, President and CEO of CASA Child Advocates of Montgomery County. “CASA Advocates build connections with children, families, teachers, and medical providers. They ensure children and families get the resources they need. Justice-involved youth and truancy provide an additional opportunity to leverage the skills and experience of our organization.”

FITNESS PROJECT’s Role: Sponsoring Advocates for Positive Change

FITNESS PROJECT is honored to sponsor the first four Advocates in CASA’s “Justice-Involved Youth Initiative” program. Our commitment to community well-being aligns seamlessly with CASA’s mission to empower every child, regardless of their circumstances. By supporting the Advocates on this groundbreaking initiative, FITNESS PROJECT aims to contribute to the positive transformation of young lives and communities.

The volunteer Advocates from CASA will play a pivotal role in working closely with justice-involved youth and truancy courts and will serve as guardians ad litem for justice-involved youth, advocating for their best interests during formal probation. Volunteer Advocates will work with the Juvenile Court to ensure that youth and families receive the support and connection to the resources they need to succeed and thrive.

How You Can Get Involved: Building a Stronger Community Together

As the partnership between FITNESS PROJECT and CASA continues to flourish, we encourage our gym members and the broader community to consider ways to get involved. Whether through volunteer opportunities, supporting their efforts by contributing, or spreading awareness about the invaluable work CASA is doing, every action contributes to building a stronger, more supportive community.

A Shared Vision for a Brighter Future

The collaboration between FITNESS PROJECT and CASA on the “Justice-Involved Youth Initiative” represents a shared vision for a brighter and more inclusive future for the children and families of Montgomery County. By expanding advocacy efforts to justice-involved youth and truancy courts, CASA is taking a pioneering step towards creating lasting change in the lives of those who need it most. FITNESS PROJECT is proud to be a part of this transformative journey, and we look forward to witnessing the positive impact on our community. Together, we can empower every child to thrive and succeed.

A few notable updates:

  • CASA received its first case in mid-October 2023.  Currently, they have 4 cases and their plan is to increase to 20 cases for the pilot.
  • Experienced advocates are assigned and appointed by the Juvenile Court as Guardians Ad Litem.
  • CASA focuses its advocacy on the trauma Justice-Involved Youth have faced and the results of that trauma.
  • CASA will work closely with schools to improve the youth’s educational participation while researching areas where youth can “slip through the cracks” and have worked with the schools solve the concerns.
  • CASA works closely with the Juvenile Probation Officers to help the youth successfully complete their probation.

Interested in volunteering?

  • Contact Pilot Coordinator Mike Quinn at Mike@CASASpeaks4Kids.com or (571) 232-4221.
  • Attend a four-hour training session.
  • Observe the Juvenile Court.

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