Every day in Sonoma County, children are removed from their homes because of parental abuse or neglect. Through no fault of their own, these special young people become dependents of the Juvenile Court.

They enter a world of ever-changing circumstances, where overburdened legal and child welfare systems sometimes cannot do all they wish for the children. These youth need help and support. This is where a volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) can step in to provide consistent, personal support as the youth goes through months or years of legal procedures.

For eighteen years, CASA of Sonoma County has been operating as the only community-based organization that provides volunteer advocacy services to children who are under Juvenile Court jurisdiction (i.e. foster care). According to Executive Director Millie Gilson, “Over the last few weeks, CASA has received 50 new youth referrals, a sudden influx of youth never before seen in our history. The children need us, but so do the people who are trying to help them – social workers, probation officers and a Juvenile Court that can’t do the job alone.”

This is where the community can step in.

Learn more about becoming a CASA. Call now and join CASA’s efforts to provide all foster youth with a voice.

The next training session begins on Thursday, Jan. 16. Classes are held over a four-day period, allowing volunteers to gain an understanding of the Foster Care System, the Juvenile Court System and the many challenges faced by our CASA youth.

For more information contact Millie Gilson at 565-6375 or info@sonomacasa.org.