Hightstown resident receives honor at benefit for foster children


From left

Mike Morsch, Regional Editor
Hightstown resident Amy Mansue, president, Southern Region for RWJBarnabas Health, was honored recently at Toast 2017, an annual fundraiser that benefits children in foster care., About 200 community members and local and state leaders and child advocates attended the New Brunswick event, hosted by CASA of Middlesex County. Dignitaries included former Governors James Florio and James McGreevy and state Senator Joseph Vitale, among others., Former state Sen. William Hamilton and CASA board member presented the award to Mansue., “Amy has had a distinguished career in healthcare and public policy,’’ Hamilton said. “She had made many, many contributions to the well-being of children across New Jersey.’’, Held at Steakhouse 85, Toast 2017 drew praise from attendees, who enjoyed a champagne brunch and a silent auction, while raising much-needed funds to recruit, train and support more Court Appointed Special Volunteers (CASA), who look out for the best interests of foster children, said Stephanie Brown, director, CASA of Middlesex County., Only about one-quarter of Middlesex County children in foster care have someone solely dedicated to looking out for their best interests, Brown said. Research shows that children without a CASA are likely to spend more time in foster care, struggle at school and return to foster care because of repeat abuse, Brown explained., As the former president and chief executive officer of Children’s Specialized Hospital, which treats children facing special health challenges, Mansue often met children who had been abused or neglected and were in the state’s foster care system., “I saw up close the health issues that can arise when children suffer the trauma of abuse or are born with disabilities due to parental substance abuse,” Mansue said. “They need the caring, watchful eye of an adult who has only their best interests at heart., “CASA never loses sight of the kids,” Mansue added when accepting the award. “Their sole focus is the protection and well-being of these children. It cannot be overstated how important that is. Every other entity in the child protection system has other interests.”, #