Recruit, train, and supervise volunteers to advocate for juvenile dependents.
The goal of CASA of Santa Barbara County is to prevent abused, neglected, and abandoned children from becoming lost in the Juvenile Dependency system. In addition, we aim at finding them safe, permanent homes as soon as possible. We work carefully to match a CASA volunteer with a child to ensure that the child’s best interest is served.
As an advocate, a CASA volunteer fulfills six main roles:
- Meet with the child once per week for at least an hour;
- Gather information from all interested parties, such as attorneys, social workers, teachers, caregivers, therapists, etc.;
- Keep an eye out for any unmet needs of the child, and advocate for those needs to be met
- Write a court report to the juvenile court judge for each hearing concerning the child. The report gives the judge the information the advocate has gathered, what the advocate believes to be in the child’s best interests, and what the child would like to have happen
- Attend all court hearings regarding the child (usually once every six months, sometimes more frequent)
- Monitor the case by doing all of the above until the child is placed into a safe, permanent, nurturing home
CASA volunteers listen first. Then they act. Volunteers get to know the child by talking with everyone in that child’s life: parents and relatives, foster parents, teachers, medical professionals, attorneys, social workers and others. They use the information they gather to inform judges and others of what the child needs and what will be the best permanent home for them. We welcome people from all walks of life. We are simply looking for people who care about children and have common sense. As a volunteer, you will be thoroughly trained and well supported by professional staff to help you through each case.
If you’d like to find out more about volunteering, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know you’re interested, or call us at (805) 845-8364. We look forward to hearing from you!