CASA of Sonoma County has had a very full and productive fiscal year. CASA is spending time in the community reaching out and spreading the word of their good work. The work is to ensure that children in the foster care system have both a voice and services they need for a stable future.
In the fiscal year of 2016-17, CASA wanted to expand the impact by serving more foster youth with ongoing advocacy. To do this they enhanced the training and volunteer specialization components of their program to further promote the goals of ensuring the safety and security of children during their time in foster care, facilitating permanency through the development of meaningful adult relationships and to encourage placement with kinship care, other family members or through adoption. These goals are fulfilled by the dedication and expertise of caring community members who contribute their time, energy, resources and experience to having a lasting impact on a young person’s life.
The CASA program has shown its economic impact by designating over $20,000 in funds of enrichment and scholarship services, providing over $400,000 in professional in kind services through 20,000 hours of volunteer child advocacy, expanding the office space and training or conference areas and receiving over $20,000 in kind donations including laptop computers, bikes, graduations, birthday and Christmas gifts given straight to the youth that are served.
CASA of Sonoma County serves 250 foster children and youth annually. These children have entered the Sonoma County Juvenile Dependency System through no fault of their own having fallen victims because of abuse and neglect.
These children range in age from birth to 21 and currently reside in all parts of Sonoma County. 100 percent of the children served are low income. Of the children served in 2016-17, 12 are birth to age 5, 61 are age 6 to 11, 130 are between 12 and 17 years old and 47 are 18 years old and above. Of all the children and youth served, 120 are male and 112 are female. The breakdown demographics are 37 percent Hispanic/Latino; 42 percent White/non-Latino; 3 percent African American; 16 percent Native American and 1 percent are Asian/Pacific Islander.
CASA volunteers made over 300 court appearances. They provided over 1,200 recommendations to the Juvenile Court in areas such as physical health and mental health, extra-curricular activities, along with education and shelter. The volunteers also wrote over 280 court reports representing the best interests of children they serve and have provided over 18,840 hours of volunteer time. CASA of Sonoma County was selected as one of the charity partners of the 2017 Destination Races; Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon which took place July 16 in Sonoma. CASA training programs are about 40 hours of classroom training, field visits and observations in preparation to becoming a child advocate. CASA offers quarterly training sessions and the next one is in the fall. For more information go to firstname.lastname@example.org.