Skip to main content

CASA News

Lynne Petrovic, our Executive Director, wants to let you know that CASA of Santa Cruz is doing exactly what it's always done and exactly what we love doing- advocating for children. It's going to take a lot more than a shelter in place order to slow us down from doing that.

Sign up for an online Volunteer Information Meeting to learn more about becoming a Court Appointed Special Advocate.today.
Tuesday, April 7, at 1:00 p.m.: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0pcOmvqj4sZaqMJLS4nZKYJnpYH1IzfA
Friday, April 10, at 10:00 a.m.: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/vJcud-ioqjstYNryL1-59ASH4RfQbHhlQw

Most importantly, we are going to get through this together.
CASA, with your support, will continue to vigorously advocate for children in whatever way needed.

If you are an Advocate looking for resources relating to COVID-19, please visit our Community Wellness Resources page linked above. More information will be added throughout the week.

We treasure the opportunities that we have to see you and have fun with you and as such we truly regret not being able to participate in these two fundraisers.  But we also trust that our caring and supportive community will come together in other ways to support each other through these current times no matter what comes our way due to COVID-19.  

Our CASA team wants you to know that we are actively following the CDC and local guidelines and recommendations regarding maintaining our healthy environment at the CASA House.  We are also planning for the future so that we are able to implement any additional guidelines and recommendations that may be made in the future. As we monitor the recommendations, we will keep you updated on any guidelines that may impact our office.  As always, our primary focus is the safety and wellbeing of the children, youth and the families that we serve.   

Every year in March we take time to appreciate our social workers. Read on for our full appreciation!

Join Team CASA for this year's Human Race. This is a 5-mile course and fundraiser in Santa Cruz. The more participants we have on our Team CASA, the more money we will make to help CASA recruit, train, and supervise volunteer Advocates for children and youth in foster care!

Angel is 18 years old and gave this speech at the 2020 For the Love of Children Luncheon to 150 attendees on Feb. 19, 2020. 

More incredible CASAs have graduated the 35-hour training. Do you know any of these friendly faces?

We are sad to announce that Lyndsey Marks will be leaving her position as Development and Communications Director at CASA. We appreciate all the good work she has done. We will miss her dearly and we wish her all the best.

Please share the job description widely to help us find the best fit for our team. The deadline to apply is March 9, 2020.

Come support CASA by dining at Shadowbrook Restaurant on Tuesday, March 24th from 4pm-10pm. Bring family and friends and enjoy a delicious dinner - 30% of proceeds from CASA diners goes directly to CASA.

At CASA of Santa Cruz we love our Advocates! For this Valentine’s Day we made a list of the reasons why we love Advocates and wanted to share the love with you.

Do you have a few hours a week to help a child in foster care find the love they need and deserve? Come to an information meeting to learn more.

Our lovely Trish Perez has an amazing opportunity and will be leaving her role at CASA at the end of January. We are grateful for her time with us.
Please help us find a new Administrative Assistant to join our team.

Happy New Year!
Happy New Year!

The CASA office will be closed Wed., January 1, 2020.
Wishing you a safe and healthy New Year!

On October 22, 2019, the Hon. Ariadne Symons swore in 18 community members as Court Appointed Special Advocates for children in foster care.

CASA of Santa Cruz County needs caring adult volunteers to speak up for the best interests of children who have been abused or neglected. Register for an information meeting at casaofsantacruz.org/signup.

CASA of Santa Cruz County has been selected as one of four CASA programs in the State of California to participate in a Pilot Project to serve youth in the Juvenile Justice system, a.k.a. youth on probation.

Susan wanted to have 100 children when she grew up. She and her husband compromised at three kids of their own. But she knew she wanted to help young people. After retiring from her long career as a lawyer, she went looking for an opportunity to make a difference.
Susan may not have had those 100 children she wanted when she was young, but she is making a major difference for quite a few CASA youth.  Read the full article here.

You do not have to be a lawyer or social worker to volunteer as a Court Appointed Special Advocate. CASA volunteers are everyday people, trained by CASA and then appointed by judges to advocate for the safety of children who have been removed from their homes because of abuse or neglect. 

CASA is offering a special daytime training beginning on Sept 30. Rather than the typical evening training of two nights a week for five weeks, this training will be held from 9 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. for roughly two weeks, Monday through Thursday (Sept 30 – Oct 15)

On August 13, 2019, the Hon. Ariadne Symons swore in 18 community members as Court Appointed Special Advocates for children in foster care. This was upon their completion of the CASA 35-hour training program.

If you have 2-4 hours a week to be there for a child in foster care, you CAN make a difference. 

This year marks the ten year anniversary of the Casa for CASA Capital Campaign. Ten years ago, a dedicated group of staff, Board and community members launched the Casa for CASA Capital Campaign to raise funds to purchase the beautiful CASA home in Watsonville.

Marlene had been sober for seven years when a traumatic event in her family triggered a relapse and she had begun using again. She was scared and overwhelmed the day the Dependency Court Judge removed her children from her care. She felt like the Judge only saw her drug addiction, not her love for her children or her deep regret for getting to this point. She says that she knows now the Judge was seeing much more than she thought at the time, and she is thankful the Court stepped in when they did. It saved her family. Click to read the full story.

Meet our new Advocate Supervisor and Early Childhood Specialist, Roxy Greenspan!

When children must be removed from their families due to abuse or neglect, it is the hope that most children will be able to return to a safe home.

If you have 2-4 hours a week to be there for a child in foster care, you CAN make a difference.
Register at https://casaofsantacruz.org/signup/

Congratulations to our newest class of Court Appointed Special Advocates sworn in this week by Judge Connolly.

Have you been wanting to learn more about volunteering as a Court Appointed Special Advocate but can't make it to an information meeting? Join us for an online information meeting on Tuesday, May 21, at 10:00 a.m. Register at casaofsantacruz.org/webinar

With more than 440,000 youth in foster care, there are plenty of ways to make a difference during this month. Here are ideas for how to support National Foster Care Month.

Shockingly in our country, nearly ¼ of all child abuse victims are under the age of one.  And in Santa Cruz, nearly 40% of the children who were found to be victims of abuse were under the age of two. Knowing that raising healthy children starts at day one and hearing these statistics, how can we not be moved to act? Read the full article.

CASA of Santa Cruz County is proud to announce that Lynda Leigh, a long-time CASA volunteer Advocate has won the Cesar E. Chavez Award in the Adult Role Model category. The awards ceremony was held on March 28, 6:00 PM in the City of Watsonville Community Room

CASA of Santa Cruz County recently welcomed new members to their Board of Directors, Linda Bixby, Matt Gianelli, Chris Sheehy, and Andrea Willy. The new members join a very committed and active Board led by Nancy Gordon, President; Chris Sheehy, Vice President; Phuong Mayer, Treasurer; and Sesario Escoto, Secretary.

Mark you calendars to join us on Tuesday, March 26 at Shadowbrook.
Be sure to let your server know you are Dining for CASA and 1/3 of your meal will be donated to support children and youth in foster care.
Call for reservations at 475-1511.

Thank you to everyone who joined us at the "For the Love of Children Luncheon" last week. And thank you so much to our sponsors: Bontadelli Farms, John Lehr, Janis Ost, Diane and Doug Deaver, Esther Sylvan, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Bay Federal Credit Union, Plantronics Inc., Kaiser Permanente, ADR Services. We are stronger with your support!

Have you been curious about CASA?
Come check out the house and learn more about what a volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate does to help children and youth in our community.

The first class of 2019 began on January 29 with CASA’S new trainer, Jenny Hundemer. Read the full article.

"I am struck by the fact that CASA is an integral part of the system or “family” that is raising the dependent children of Santa Cruz. "
Read the full article.

When someone becomes interested in volunteering as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for a child in foster care, they don’t always know what they will be doing as a CASA for a baby. Becky became the CASA for Janie when she came into the foster care system at three months old. When Janie was reunited with her birth parents, Becky’s advocacy went into high gear.
Read the full story.

CASA of Santa Cruz County lost an important member of our CASA family on November 19, 2018. During his more than 15 years as a dedicated CASA Advocate, Dave Bartlett supported and mentored nine children and youth; and in 2003 was chosen from thousands of Advocates nationwide as National Child Advocate of the Year by the National CASA Association. Read more...

Conny was just four years old when she was removed from her parents’ care and placed in her first foster home. Over the years, she was moved to seven different homes and ended up feeling unwanted and alone. It was difficult to trust anyone and she began to emotionally shut down. Click to read more.

Did you know that volunteers devote just 2-4 hours a week to showing up for a child or youth in foster care, and the impact they can have is life-changing?
Upcoming information meetings are:
Tuesday, December 11, from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. at CASA, 813 Freedom Blvd. in Watsonville; OR
Tuesday, December 11, from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Live Oak Family Resource Center, located at 1740 17th Ave. in Santa Cruz
Sign up or view dates, times and locations of other information meetings HERE.

Read Dahlia's story

Denise brings her years of experience as a teacher as well as all she has learned as a parent of a child with special needs. When she met Jose*, her current CASA child, she learned that he didn’t speak. He was four years old and clearly impacted by trauma. She knew that he understood language and was smart, and while the rest of his team of caregivers and social workers didn’t think he could attend preschool, she knew that with the right support, he would do well. Click to read more.

Many times, children being bullied are frightened to talk about what's happening to them. For many children in foster care, their CASA can be the one adult they trust enough to speak to. Click image to see full post.

CASA's greatest need is for more bilingual volunteers to serve children and youth in foster care. Advocate Supervisor, Lucia de la Torre spoke with Univision KSMS for this segment on Despierta Monterey. Please help us find more caring adults who are ready to make a difference for a child in foster care.
View the segment here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jxQOVPx9uw

In Santa Cruz County more than 500 children live in foster care each year because they have been abused, neglected or abandoned. Most of our county’s children in foster care live in Watsonville and about 25% need help from someone who speaks Spanish.

Watch Conny's Story