Court Appointed Special Advocates of San Luis Obispo County (CASA) advocates for the best interests of abused and neglected children within the court system. A CASA car donation will help abused and neglected children. CASA recruits, screens, trains and supervises volunteers who advocate for this vulnerable population with the goal of ensuring that every child grows up in a safe, nurturing and permanent home. After intensive screening, completion of 30-hours of training, and swearing in by the court, the CASA volunteer is assigned the case of a child or sibling group. The volunteer meets regularly with the child, interviews significant adults in their life (teachers, therapists, doctors, parents and foster parents), attends meetings with social workers and other collaborative agencies and reports regularly to the court. The CASA volunteer’s reports provide crucial information to the Judge about the child’s status and needs.
Since its inception in 1993, CASA of San Luis Obispo County has trained over 500 volunteers who have served over 2,600 children countywide. These children are between the ages of newborn and 19 years. CASA is invaluable in helping to ensure that these children and youth do not get lost in the complex legal and child welfare system. Due to conditions of their abuse and neglect, many suffer from chronic health issues, learning delays, developmental disabilities, emotional issues and/or behavioral disorders. A sworn officer of the court, the CASA volunteer reviews mental health, medical/dental records and educational assessments of the child. This enables the CASA volunteer to make informed recommendations to the court for services that are in the child’s best interest. The CASA volunteer becomes a consistent and trusting adult to their assigned child.
Because these youth have been failed by their parents and removed from their homes they are placed into foster care. They are often moved many times to different foster homes, change schools and may be separated from their siblings. It is the CASA volunteer who often becomes the most stable and trusted influence in their lives by building a trusting relationship with the child. Each CASA volunteer is asked to make at least a one year commitment to the child’s case. Because consistency is so important to the child’s well-being and to achieving a positive outcome, the one-year commitment is crucial. In San Luis Obispo County, it is CASA’s goal to serve every child in need and you can support us in that effort by giving a car donation to CASA.