My name is Jessica Robinson. I am the new Outreach/Training Coordinator for CASA of Tulare County. CASA stands for Court-Appointed Special Advocate. Our organization is a Non-Profit that focuses on organizing, training, and deploying volunteers to be Court-Appointed Special Advocates that are a voice for children in the foster care system. Foster children are among our most vulnerable population as they didn't choose their circumstances and yet struggle through life with instability, abuse, abandonment, and a wide array of other disabilities and psychological struggles.
A CASA is a volunteer who is committed to spending 1-2 hours a week, one-on-one, with a child in the foster care system. They go with the child from placement to placement, hearing to hearing, and often meeting to meeting, to ensure they feel comfortable and have the necessary resources and support they need to ensure a healthy future and progression into adulthood. To a judge and/or social worker, the CASA Volunteer is the most listened to individual since they spend the most time zeroed in on that particular child.
It costs just about $3,000 a year per CASA to train and support the volunteer who commits to advocating for the child/children and as we are a non-profit organization we're looking for donors and sponsors who want to support our efforts to ensure every child in foster care has an advocate who speaks on their behalf. There are 1,200+ foster children in Tulare County and around 250 on a waiting list to receive a CASA Volunteer. We need both volunteers and donors who can help ensure that every child in Tulare County has the support they need to head into a successful adulthood.
Your contribution, be it your time, a dollar, a donated service, etc. can make the world of a difference to a foster child who needs a healthy adult figure to motivate them towards joy and success.