CASA agency helping foster children with ‘sweet cases’

 The belief that children shouldn’t have to travel from home to home with their belongings in a trash bag is inspiring a donation drive in Venango County.

The donations will be used to make care packages for children entering foster care. The care packages, called sweet cases, are being assembled by the Court Appointed Special Advocates of Venango County program known as CASA.

“There’s already a stigma on children in the foster care system, and they aren’t there because of anything they have done wrong,” said Cinnamon Evans, the executive director of CASA.

“We’ve seen these trash bags come into the courtroom with the kids, and it’s never an ideal situation,” Evans added.

The group of advocates have an initial goal of 75 bags, but the need for more may arise.

“We’re hoping to grow from there,” said Gina Graham, volunteer coordinator for CASA.

“We want to give these kids duffel bags because there’s less finality than a suitcase,” Graham added. “We can’t make the problems go away for the kids, but we can try to make it as normal as possible.”

“We want it to feel like they’re just going away for a weekend,” added Evans. “We want to make sure that every child who needs a bag has one.”

Bags will contain a blanket, stuffed animal, coloring book or journal, toothbrush and toothpaste as well as other age appropriate hygiene items.

The group is in need of monetary donations, items to fill bags and volunteers to help assemble the bags.

More information can be found at http:// or by calling 670-0550.