"My name is Priscilla, and I am a member of the Voices for Children Real Word panel. This National Volunteer Week, I’m reminded of how grateful I am for my CASA, Denise." Read Priscilla's full letter.
Voices for Children couldn’t advocate for thousands of children in foster care across San Diego and Riverside Counties without our dedicated Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) volunteers. Because we know firsthand how invaluable volunteers are, we encourage our own staff to give their time to other nonprofits and even provide time for employees to volunteer at an organization of their choice. Here are just a few ways our team is giving back beyond VFC.
Once a child enters the juvenile dependency system, a variety of professionals are tasked with ensuring that that youth is safe, is being cared for, and receives the services and resources they need. In honor of Social Work Month this March, we are sharing a case which highlights the collaboration between CASA volunteers and social workers in advocating on behalf of a child.
Read about couples who care! This Valentine’s Day, we spotlight four local couples who have dedicated their time to serving as Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers. Each individual advocates on behalf of their own assigned youth but enjoys sharing advice, feedback, and knowledge with their partner. Read about the shared experiences of couples serving children through Voices for Children.
Mentors are a valuable resource to the youth they serve, providing guidance, advice, support, and a positive influence. In celebration of National Mentoring Month, we are highlighting the key differences between youth mentors and Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers, as well as sharing a few local mentoring programs in San Diego and Riverside Counties.
Six community leaders were elected to the Board of Directors for Voices for Children (VFC) this week. The Honorable Ana España administered the Oath of Confidentiality to Luisa Ayala, Andy Christopher, Jenny Li-Hochberg, Mia Kelly, Katie Nicoletti, and Laura Roos. This oath, taken by each of our staff, CASAs, and Board members, confirms our commitment to uphold the confidentiality, safety, and best interest of the children we serve.
One dedicated partner, MG Properties Group, has cultivated a workplace culture of generosity and camaraderie through giving at every level of the company and successfully maintains this environment through fun activities and competitive events. We sat down with MG Properties Group Director of Culture & Philanthropy, Jenny McKenna, for her creative tips and advice on how companies can support important causes through corporate giving.
November is National Adoption Month in the United States, and this year, the Children’s Bureau has elected to bring awareness to older youth in foster care – teenagers and young adults – who historically are less likely to be adopted. With that in mind, this month’s Inspiring CASA will feature the advocacy of Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Josh in support of his teenage case youth, Curtis*.
While the challenges youth in foster care face produce alarming statistics, Voices for Children aims to change a child's story by pairing Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers with children in need. Read the encouraging stories of four resilient individuals who, with the support of their CASA, have not let the statistics define them.
To understand why a child might "act out", and to break down myths about the behavior of children in foster care, we must take a deeper look at the way the brain develops in childhood. Read to learn more.
At this year’s Starry Starry Night virtual gala, we were proud to announce the 2020 CASA of the Year: Carolina Finch. We spoke with some of Carolina’s former case children and their families; check out what they had to say about her.
In order to make the most informed decisions for a child’s well being and future, the court relies on information from the various professionals supporting the child, including social workers, attorneys, and the child’s Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA). Our latest “Inspiring CASAs” highlight, CASA Paula, fully embodied the role of advocate on behalf of her case youth.
The effects of trauma are unique for each individual. Thankfully for a child in foster care, a CASA takes the time to learn about the child's needs and displays incredible empathy in meeting them right where they are. This month’s Inspiring CASAs highlight is CASA Derek, who has provided positive guidance to his case youth, “Gerald,” through empathy, patience, and healthy boundaries.
In 1980, Kathryn F. Ashworth, Esq., and Elizabeth Brainard Bacon discovered a recently developed, volunteer-based model of supporting children in foster care and, using that framework, co-founded Voices for Children (VFC). With the start of a new fiscal year this month, we are now celebrating 40 years of service to children in San Diego County and five years of service to children in Riverside County.
AnneElise Goetz, Esq., was elected chair of the board of directors for Voices for Children (VFC), the local nonprofit organization certified by the court in San Diego and Riverside Counties to recruit and train Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers.
7-year-old "Amy" was struggling to adapt to distance learning. Read how her CASA Ronnie stepped in to provide education support to her during the COVID-19 pandemic.
To join communities across our country in celebrating Pride Month, this "Inspiring CASAs" blog post features three amazing volunteers who provided advocacy for case youth seeking to understand their own gender identity.
In recognition of June as National Reunification Month, this week's "Inspiring CASAs" story features CASA Jill and her case youth "Angel," whose case ended in reunification. Read to learn about how CASA Jill was able to provide support to Angel during this time away from his parents.
Prior to the pandemic, CASA Nicole had advocated tirelessly for "Corina" to receive special education services, something that has greatly benefited Corina’s learning experience. Now that Corina transitioned to distance learning, CASA Nicole continued to support her educational experience by finding ways to help Corina stay organized.
Voices for Children is honored to be a place where our staff, volunteers, and supporters come together to show compassion and to take action to make a difference. Following recent events, we are affirming our values and taking steps to put them into action.
Nearly 65 percent of transition age foster youth across the country who were working before the pandemic have lost employment and half of those who applied for unemployment benefits did not receive assistance. Read this blog post to learn more about how one CASA helped foster youth "Jayden" navigate this tumultuous time.
Today, foster care is a complex system involving an interconnected web of professionals, caregivers, and volunteers whose primary focus is the welfare of the children. This National Foster Care Month, we would like to take a walk through history to discover what milestones made an impact on the foster care system we know today.
With our community’s children at greater risk of abuse and neglect during the COVID-19 crisis, Voices for Children announces the launch of a new public service announcement to raise awareness of the needs of children in foster care and to recruit volunteers to support this vulnerable population.
While adhering to stay-at-home orders, our Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers continue to remotely support the needs of their foster youth through these uncertain times. Read this story about CASA Kathryn from Riverside County, and how she found a way to creatively engage and spend time with her case youth through virtual arts and crafts.
During this unprecedented time, a CASA's presence – whether virtual or in rare in-person circumstances – is not only critical for ensuring children receive vital services, but also for providing children with the comfort of a familiar face.
Due to the "stay-at-home" orders as a result of COVID-19, volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Erin has yet to meet her new case child, "Alyssa," but that hasn't stopped Erin from stepping up and advocating for her in major ways. Read this week's "Inspiring CASAs" piece to learn more!
This week's addition to our "Inspiring CASAs" blog series is the story of CASA Michael and his resourcefulness in supporting both his case child and that child's caregiver.
We are often asked what makes a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer different than a social worker. In this blog post, we had one of our staff members answer that question.
This week's "Inspiring CASAs" blog post spotlights CASA Susan and the advocacy she provided to Trent during a mental health crisis. Read to learn how CASA Susan was able to be there for her youth during these difficult times.
Continuing with our "Inspiring CASA" series, we wanted to share the story of how CASA Kristin went above and beyond. Her case youth, "Destiny," has Graves Disease, an autoimmune disorder that causes an overactive thyroid. Check out this blog post to read how Kristin is supporting Destiny during an especially challenging time for someone who has a compromised immune system.
It comes as no surprise that the generous volunteers who serve as Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) for local children in foster care are stepping up in extraordinary ways—even when facing uncertainty themselves. In the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing inspiring CASA stories, which we truly hope will uplift and encourage you. Here we share the story of CASA Kim and “Sarah.”
To aid our CASA volunteers in maintaining and even building relationships with their case children while they are unable to meet in person, we compiled a list of fun and productive activities they can enjoy with youth from a distance.
The COVID-19 and its potential impact on our community – including the children we serve, our volunteers, and our staff – is of great concern to us at Voices for Children, and we are closely monitoring the situation both locally and nationally. As the situation continues to develop, we will update this page with information that affects our volunteers, our operations, and, most important, our children.
Have you ever wondered what a typical month might look like for a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA)? Our CASA volunteers report spending an average of 10 to 15 hours per month on their role. In this blog post, read the notes of CASA Sherry as she breaks down her schedule.
The commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) is one of the fastest growing epidemics in our country, with our most vulnerable children, foster children, often falling victim. Learn more about the warning signs of human trafficking in this blog post.
Most people will never see the inside of a Juvenile Dependency courtroom, but many children do. Read this post to learn more about the process of foster care and the various outcomes.
Permanent placement into a safe, secure, and healthy home is a huge milestone for our children, CASAs, and staff alike. In this post, staff members share some of their favorite adoption stories from over the years.
We picked the brains of a few of our Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers who are currently balancing work and volunteering about what a full-time employee can expect when they become a CASA volunteer.
With a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) by their side, foster youth are more likely to pass all school courses and are significantly less likely to be expelled. Read the story of Kristina and how her CASA provided support to her educational journey.
On October 15, 2019, Voices for Children officially welcomed Kelly Capen Douglas, Esq., as our new President & CEO. We invite you to watch this short video to hear directly from Kelly about what drew her to Voices for Children and the message she wants to share with our CASAs and supporters.
In order to learn more about the organization and what it’s like for our volunteers to become CASAs, one of our newest staff members went through the CASA application process, from start to finish, and wrote about the experience.