It’s time to tell the men in your life — husbands, partners, fathers, brothers, friends, colleagues and adult sons — to get out of the house. On Monday, June 19, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Union County will host a Men’s Night Out at 6:30 pm at Kilkenny House in Cranford for food, drinks and shooting the breeze.

Among those in attendance will be the current men of CASA of Union County — from board members to volunteer advocates — available to talk on the urgent need for men to step up to become child advocates to Union County children removed from home due to abuse, neglect or abandonment and placed in foster care. Successful advocates and board members’ backgrounds include accountants, attorneys, dentists, federal agents, business owners, teachers, guidance counselors, brokers, retirees and more. According to staff, experience has shown time and again that a male presence has a powerful, lifelong impact. A child’s life improves the moment a willingness to care is demonstrated.

Said Executive Director Marla Higginbotham, “CASA of Union County is uniquely positioned as the only organization in the county that works directly with the courts, judges and foster system to ensure the safety and stability of the area’s most vulnerable: its foster kids. A consistent male role model male is not the norm for many foster youth and — whether in grade school, the throes of adolescence or facing aging-out alone — each would benefit tremendously by a male presence during such a tenuous time. Although the need is year-round, at CASA we believe the celebrations of Father’s Day and Men’s Health Month are perfect reasons to shine a spotlight on the men in our lives and all they have to offer the next generation. I’m excited that those currently volunteering with CASA of Union County have so eagerly agreed to come out for the evening, share their experiences and encourage other men to consider the opportunity for all it offers everyone involved.”

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Today, there are 600 Union County youth in care; CASA of Union County’s goal is to provide an advocate for every foster child that needs one. Volunteers train 30 hours to become an extra set of eyes and ears for family court judges and have access to all parties in the child’s life, including foster parents, doctors, caseworkers, therapists and teachers. They incorporate into court reports findings from these contacts as well as visits with the youth, while advocating both in court and the community to ensure the child’s best interests remain a priority while working toward a safe, stable and permanent home.

To attend CASA’s Men’s Night Out, RSVP to Courtney at (908) 527-7045 or