The first week of each month we will bring you our Community Partner Spotlight featuring a nonprofit we work with to help raise funds for transition age foster youth. This month we are proud to highlight the incredible work of Voices for Children!
Founded in 1980, Voices for Children is a private, nonprofit organization in San Diego and Riverside Counties dedicated to improving the lives of children in foster care. Their volunteer CASAs—Court Appointed Special Advocates—work one-on-one with a foster child or group of siblings. CASAs are advocates, investigators, and problem-solvers. They are a source of consistency, visiting regularly with appointed children in foster care. CASAs also review reports, interact with professionals working on the child’s case, and provide information to Juvenile Court judges so they can make well-informed decisions and ensure the child’s needs are met. With the support of a CASA, a foster child is more likely to succeed, receive vital services, and find a safe, permanent home.
Rosie, a former foster youth, mentee in the mentor program, and a member of Voices for Children’s, The Real Word panel, writes about the impact a CASA can have: “CASAs are amazing people; they selflessly make a child feel more special than they could have ever imagined. The 13 year old girl I used be, who wanted to curl up in a ball and escape from the world, would never have believed that one day she would speak in front of Congress or train new CASAs—but, that is what I do now. Dawna, my CASA, advocated relentlessly for me in court, so that I was able to find permanency and maintain normalcy through extracurricular activities, volunteering, and friends.”
Last year, Voices for Children served 2,509 children in San Diego County foster care with direct advocacy. The majority of those children (2,282) were served by our 1,431 CASAs. An additional 227 were served by Voices for Children staff advocates, through a new Case Liaison program.