CASA is a child’s voice in dependency court, providing advocacy, stability, and hope to children who have been abused, neglected, or abandoned.
This support had a profound impact on the lives of hundreds of children and youth in foster care. They receive many health, emotional, and educational resources they might not otherwise receive. “CASA children” have a higher rate of adoption than those without an Advocate, are less likely to return to the system, and are substantially less likely to spend time in long-term foster care. 83% of our youth graduated from high school, compared to the state average of 45%.
The Big Idea:
CASA Advocate Training with Focus on Bilingual Volunteers
CASA empowers volunteers to directly influence life-changing decisions affecting children in foster care. To accomplish this, CASA recruits, screens, trains, and supervises Volunteer Advocates who work one-on-one with youth in the dependency care system, advocating for their best interests in court, in school, and in the community.
This year, in addition to recruiting and training all types of caring adult volunteers, we will place emphasis on bilingual Advocates. There are many children referred to our program from the foster care system who come from Spanish speaking monolingual families. We want to make sure that volunteers can connect with the children and parents in a meaningful way. They will be more effective if they can listen, understand, and speak up for the best interests of a child who has been abused, neglected, or abandoned.
Larry (Advocate) was always a constant. If I ever needed anything, someone to call for advice, as far as any life situation, court, whatever, he was always there and a nonjudgmental person I could call.
Joseph, former foster youth from Watsonville.