Volunteers needed to stand up for needs of local kids in foster care

Volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Tim Riley with Josh
Volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate Tim Riley with Josh, a youth who had formally lived in foster care, hanging out in East Village in 2018. Voices for Children is looking for volunteers to serve as CASAs.
(Evan Yamada Productions/Courtesy of Suzy Garcia Voices for Children)

San Diego nonprofit Voices for Children is looking for volunteers to serve as Court Appointed Special Advocates for children in foster care

Share

The San Diego nonprofit Voices for Children, which was founded in 1980, is looking for volunteers to advocate for foster children in need. The nonprofit just started a new campaign called “Your Voice, Their Future” to encourage community members to become Court Appointed Special Advocates, aka CASAs.

Volunteers are trained and supported by the nonprofit to speak up for children in foster care in court, school and medical settings to make sure their needs are met.

CASA volunteers often become the most consistent, caring adult in the life of a child in foster care as they face court hearings, social workers, attorneys and in many cases, new homes.

The inaugural “Your Voice, Their Future” volunteer recruitment campaign runs through May 1 (National Foster Care Awareness Month), to recruit Court Appointed Special Advocates to serve 100 local youths in foster care on Voices for Children’s waitlist who are in immediate need of a CASA volunteer. The nonprofit is currently in high need of male Court Appointed Special Advocates and volunteers from diverse communities.

CASA volunteers and staff at Voices for Children served more than 3,400 children last year in foster care throughout San Diego and Riverside counties.

According to Voices for Children, an estimated 3,500 children are expected to be in foster care in the San Diego area this year after having been abused or neglected and they need someone to step up and speak up for them during what can be a frightening time.

“The secret to success for being a CASA is simply being present and listening. And once the youths realize you are a volunteer and aren’t getting paid to do this work, the light bulb goes off for them. They have been let down by the adults in their lives, and when they realize I’m in it for the long run, that’s when the real connection happens,” longtime volunteer Tim Riley told the Union-Tribune last fall.

For more information, visit speakupnow.org.

Advertisement