Voices for Children Volunteers Change Lives
Foster youth benefit from Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs).
This year, approximately 4,700 children will spend time in foster care in San Diego County. These children could be your neighbors, the boys or girls you see at the park, or classmates of your own son or daughter. They have entered foster care at no fault of their own, but because of abuse, abandonment, or neglect.
Amongst the turmoil and uncertainty in their lives, these children all share the desperate need for some sense of stability. No matter how resilient they may be, children need the consistency of a caring adult in their lives. Someone to tell them they are smart, they are capable, they are worthy of their time. Someone to help them see a future full of hope and possibility. For a child in foster care, that person is their CASA—their Court Appointed Special Advocate.
Voices for Children is a private, nonprofit organization with a mission to transform the lives of abused and neglected children by providing them with volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs). With the support and training of the team at Voices for Children, CASAs are paired with a foster child or sibling group. They get to know the child, work with the professionals on the case, and advocate to make sure the child’s needs are being met. When foster homes, schools, and social workers are in constant flux, a CASA is often the only consistent adult presence in a foster child’s life – the one person a child can truly count on who is not paid to oversee their welfare.
Last year, Voices for Children CASAs have advocated for:
medical and developmental treatment for a child with multiple medical conditions;
removal from a foster care placement that was not healthy for a child;
funding for siblings to attend summer camp together;
moving forward with adoption of siblings by wonderful foster parents;
transfer of educational rights to the CASA so they could be more involved with the child’s tutoring and Individualized Education Program (IEP);
a trial visit for a child to stay with his mother, who completed all court-required services and was ready to care for him again, which ultimately led to successful reunification;
and many more resources for children across San Diego County.
Voices for Children staff and 1,400 CASAs together served nearly 3,200 children in San Diego County last year, and they have a vision to provide a CASA to every child who needs one. To learn more about becoming a CASA volunteer and to support Voices for Children this holiday season, visit www.speakupnow.org.