Foster children in our community face incredible challenges. For these displaced children, CASA offers hope in a time of turmoil.
CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates. They are adult volunteers who speak for foster children as they navigate a confusing world of lawyers, therapists, social workers, new schools and temporary homes.
Over 2,000 children are waiting in foster care for a lasting home in Fresno and Madera counties.
The role of CASA volunteers is “to make sure everything is working very well for these children,” says Nathan Lee, executive director for Fresno and Madera counties.
More Advocates for Foster Children Needed
Today, the need for additional advocates is great. Lee says CASA needs about 220 more volunteers to support local children in the foster care system.
For these young survivors of chaos, a CASA-trained advocate is a consistent, watchful presence in a foster child’s life. They provide personalized attention and help judges make informed decisions that will help each child transition to a healthy, successful future.
Studies show that children who have the support of a CASA volunteer spend much less time in foster care
Each advocate is assigned to one child or family of children. They spend time getting acquainted through outings and home and school visits. They communicate with the children’s foster parents, teachers, social workers, and doctors. Because foster children usually experience a great deal of turnover among adults in their lives, CASA volunteers are asked to commit to at least 18 months of service.
“It takes many people filling many different roles,” Lee says. “Together, all those individuals work toward the well-being and best interest of kids in foster care.”
Studies show that children who have the support of a CASA volunteer spend much less time in foster care. That matters, because children settled in stable homes are more likely to finish school and become self-sufficient, healthy adults.
If you’d like to make a difference as a Court Appointed Special Advocate, visit CASA’s website here.