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CASA has been in the news lately! Come check out these links!

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Each year, over 650,000 children are determined to have experienced abuse or neglect, ushering many of them into the dependency court and foster care systems.

CASA of Santa Cruz county stands with Asian-Americans, Pacific Islanders (AAPI), and all people of color against intimidation, violence, and hatred.

Congratulations to CASA of Santa Cruz's Alma Rocha for being selected for the KCBA Fox35 High Five Award for community service!  Alma has been an Advocate Supervisor at CASA for over 10 years and is also our education liaison.  Please watch the full story here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hA27szunoWQ&feature=youtu.be

We are so grateful to have Alma on our team, helping the youth of Santa Cruz county succeed in their schooling and beyond!

Last year we began our Juvenile Justice Pilot Project. A year later, we have an update.

CASA is thrilled to have received a donation of over 1200 masks from ClearMask to support our infants and toddlers in foster care. These masks will be going directly to support visits between our youngest children and their parents, as well as  CASA Advocates as they continue to show up for the children in our community.

We recognize the importance of ClearMasks in supporting early infant mental health through supporting attachment, relationships, and communication. We will continue to address the unique needs of infants and toddlers in the work that we do serving children in foster care, and spreading the word about infant mental health.

Yesterday we met with Congressman Panetta to share with him our concerns about children. Read on for more!

We care about the health of farmworkers in Santa Cruz County. Their health and safety directly affects the health and safety of their children, and thus it is the concern of the entire community that farmworkers are adequately protected from COVID-19. To that end, we, along with other organizations in the community, sent this letter to the Board of Supervisors ahead of their January 12th meeting.

The many challenges brought on by the pandemic are impacting local foster children and foster caregivers at an alarming rate. COVID-19 cases in our community have reached an all-time high and our children in foster care urgently need help. Unfortunately, we have an immediate need to find local families able to provide short and long term care to foster children who have been potentially exposed to COVID-19.  

We are excited to announce that our new Annual Impact Report is ready! Come check it out!

With just a few hours a week, you can make a difference for a child in foster care. Join us for an online information.

We have collected a large number of resources to help our Advocates and our broader group of supporters. Check them out!

CASA of Santa Cruz invites proposals from qualified applicants interested in entering into a contract to perform consulting and training services related to organizational equity, diversity and inclusion transformation. We are seeking services that will help members of our staff and board build skills and competencies as CASA strives to operationalize diversity, equity and inclusion.

Santa Cruz Local has put together a list of resources that are super helpful in this time. Check it out!

Debra Jones was a great Advocate. She understood the issues of trauma well, and her connection to higher education was a huge benefit for youth to get out of the cycle of poverty as well as move beyond the life of living in foster care. She was informed about the challenges for a child living in foster care and the many adults involved with making decisions of the youth. She was great at reminding everyone to stay focused on the child's needs. She served four youth over a seven-year period, and most of her time was spent helping two sisters that are now young adults today.

You can help retain & increase VOCA funding to CASA/GAL programs across the country who serve children who have experienced abuse. Please take a few minutes to contact your Senators now and ask for their support of the VOCA Fix Act of 2020.

CASA of Santa Cruz will have the most youth turning 21 this year than we ever had. The issue of housing upon “aging-out” is a challenge for several of them. CASA is working with various housing programs locally to determine how we can support our youth beyond their time in the foster care system.

You can help raise awareness about the need for more volunteers to support local children by displaying a CASA yard sign in your neighborhood.
Signs will be available for no-contact pick up.
Reserve your signs at casaofsantacruz.org/lawnsign.

We are now releasing quarterly updates, so here is the update for the 4th Quarter of 2019-2020. Enjoy!

Brian and Trevor are two brothers who are 9 and 12 years old. 
Both were neglected due to their parents’ drug use, and while their parents are doing their part to address their substance issue, it is our part as a community to be there for Brian and Trevor during this difficult time. 

CASA of Santa Cruz's Program Director, Jimmy Cook, updates our fellow advocates on what the advocate's role continues to look like during COVID-19 and Shelter in Place/Social Distancing orders.

We appreciate our Advocates so much that we can't contain it to just one week! Even though National Volunteer Week is over we wanted to put another video out for you all to know how much we love you all.

For National Volunteer Week, we wanted to show how much we appreciate our volunteers. And to do that, we spent an entire morning recording these messages for all of you. You may have seen some of them on social media during National Volunteer Week, but here are all of them for you to enjoy!

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.

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. 

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