Volunteers needed to advocate for San Diego County and Riverside County youth living in foster care
Voices for Children begins its annual “Your Voice, Their Future” campaign to recruit volunteers to advocate for vulnerable children in foster care
[Riverside / San Diego], Calif. – With the New Year, many might be looking for a meaningful way to give back to their local communities. This year, an estimated 3,000 children will spend time in foster care in San Diego County, and 4,500 children will spend time in foster care in Riverside County after experiencing abuse or neglect. They are among the most vulnerable members of our community. Once they enter the dependency system, their world suddenly includes court hearings, social workers, attorneys, and often new homes and schools. They need someone to step up and speak up for them during what can be a scary and challenging time. The organization, which serves both San Diego and Riverside Counties, is issuing a call for these special volunteers who often become the most consistent adult in the life of a child in foster care.
Founded in 1980, Voices for Children transforms the lives of children in foster care by providing them with Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs). CASA volunteers are everyday community members – trained and supported by Voices for Children – who advocate for children in the child welfare system. They form a relationship with the children and become acquainted with everyone involved in their lives, such as their parents, family, teachers, and therapists, so that they can make informed recommendations to the court.
Community members can make a life-changing impact on a child by participating in Voices for Children’s annual “Your Voice, Their Future” volunteer recruitment campaign. The campaign, taking place now through May 1 (National Foster Care Awareness Month), aims to recruit new CASAs to serve 150 local youth in foster care currently on Voices for Children’s wait list who are in immediate need of a CASA volunteer. Last year’s campaign provided 204 vulnerable children in foster care across San Diego and Riverside Counties with an advocate who ensured these children are safe, their needs are met, and their voice is being heard while they are in foster care.
CASA volunteers come from all walks of life and have a variety of backgrounds and experiences. They are big-hearted community members with a heart for service who are willing to take the time to get to know a child living in foster and to advocate for their best interests. Voices for Children is currently in high need of male and Spanish-speaking advocates.
Members of the public are encouraged to learn more and take action for local children in foster care in the following ways:
- Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers are critically needed to speak for children in court. Learn more about the requirements to become a CASA volunteer by signing up for an Info Session here.
- Recommend a friend (or two!) to become a CASA by filling out the short form at speakupnow.org/recommend. It takes just five minutes!