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CASA of Santa Cruz County

Cause Area

  • Children & Youth
  • Education & Literacy

Location

813 Freedom Blvd.Watsonville, CA 95076 United States

Organization Information

Mission Statement

Make a difference for a child in foster care.
CASA volunteer Advocates are everyday people, trained by CASA and then appointed by judges to advocate for the safety of children who have been removed from their homes because of abuse or neglect. CASA volunteers devote 2-4 hours a week getting to know the child offering friendship and emotional support. CASA volunteers also work with attorneys and social workers. They review records, research information, and talk to anyone involved with the child, including parents, extended family members, doctors and teachers and gathering information from everyone involved in the child's case. From information gathered, a volunteer presents his or her best recommendations to the judge, speaking for the safety and welfare of his or her CASA child.
Advocates stay with each case until the child is placed in a safe, permanent home. Advocates are fully supported by a staff supervisor and are part of a team that works in the best interest of the child. For many children, their CASA volunteer will be the one constant adult presence in their lives.

For many volunteers, CASA is a life-changing experience that brings personal fulfillment, as well as making a positive contribution in our community.

We encourage people from all cultures and professions and of all ethnic and educational backgrounds to learn more.

Description

CASA volunteer Advocates are everyday people, trained by CASA and then appointed by judges to advocate for the safety of children who have been removed from their homes because of abuse or neglect. CASA volunteers devote 2-4 hours a week getting to know the child offering friendship and emotional support. CASA volunteers also work with attorneys and social workers. They review records, research information, and talk to anyone involved with the child, including parents, extended family members, doctors and teachers and gathering information from everyone involved in the child's case. From information gathered, a volunteer presents his or her best recommendations to the judge, speaking for the safety and welfare of his or her CASA child.
Advocates stay with each case until the child is placed in a safe, permanent home. Advocates are fully supported by a staff supervisor and are part of a team that works in the best interest of the child. For many children, their CASA volunteer will be the one constant adult presence in their lives.
Volunteers must attend an information session and screening interview before being invited to training. Advocates receive an initial 35 hours of training and advocates on behalf of the child until the case is resolved which can take up to two years (most are closed within 12-18 months) with a commitment of 2-4 hours per week.

An applicant must:
Be at least 21 years of age
Commit to seeing the child 2-4 hours a week for up to two years. Every child's case varies in length and at times a case may require additional hours of the Advocate's time.
Have no felony convictions
Have no DWI or DUI within the last 7 years
Not abuse alcohol or any other substance within the last 7 years.
Not use illegal drugs
Have a valid driver's license and car insurance, if applicant drives
Not be on probation
Not have any serious physical or mental health concerns that could affect applicant's ability to volunteer.

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