Real Word

Voices for Children’s Real Word is the only panel of its kind in the National CASA Association network. A panel of courageous young people who live or have lived in San Diego County foster care due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment, Real Word youth are open and forthright about their experiences, such as what it’s like to move from foster home to foster home, how it feels to be separated from siblings, and how they coped in the face of adversity. They share very real stories of tragedy and triumph, and welcome the opportunity to educate the community about what many call the foster care crisis.

Real Word Kids on Pier_2
Real Word panelists are trained and supervised by Voices for Children and speak both locally and nationally. They are inspired by not only their experiences but also by the volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) assigned to them. CASAs, who advocate in court, in school, and in the community, are responsible for countless successes and positive outcomes in the lives of at-risk foster youth. Real Word provides an educational, eye-opening experience that both celebrates CASA volunteers and communicates the vital need for more.

To attend an upcoming Real Word presentation, register here.

Hear KPBS interviews with former foster youth Candace and Rosie, and Voices for Children CEO Sharon Lawrence.

Please help us educate the community about the serious issues surrounding San Diego County’s abused and neglected children. To schedule a Real Word presentation for your group, call 858-598-2205 or email

What Others Are Saying:

  • These young people remind us all why CASAs are so important and the need for more. These kids are amazing and have overcome so many challenges.
  • The confidence and poise that each participant displayed gave me hope in working with children in foster care.
  • I found the session quite inspiring. We don’t always hear from this perspective and I obtained valuable information.
  • Their stories and histories have made them who they are and instead of being victims they have chosen to be leaders. Huge kudos to them. Every CASA/GAL program would benefit from such a panel.
  • What an amazing panel of young people. Thank you so much for that great experience … to really see firsthand that we are making a difference.