I must share with you, as one of our valued donors, a very special call I had with a man by the name of Mitch. Mitch was in foster care and had a CASA in Santa Cruz from 1994-97 and now lives in Oregon. He reached out because he wanted to speak with his former CASA. He told me that as an 11-year-old boy in foster care, that “when I was with my CASA, I knew I was safe - it was the only time I felt safe enough to have fun.” He so fondly remembered what his CASA meant to him, and the fun and joy she brought into his life, that Mitch is now becoming a CASA in his own community! I was filled with joy to successfully reconnect Mitch with his Advocate from 30 years ago! It really is so amazing to hear about the resonating impact of supporting our community's foster youth.
We are so moved by you, as we once again came together as a community to support each other during this very wet and challenging winter. The impacts of the storms, including severe damage to homes and businesses will be long-lasting, and some permanent. But as always, this community will adapt and heal together.
Due to your donations, we have also continued to grow and adjust this year at CASA. We have expanded our team to include a Juvenile Justice Program Manager and a Family Advocacy Coordinator. And, keeping true to our vision, we have hired those with lived experience to best support the youth and families we serve.
Thank you to everyone who attended the For the Love of Children Luncheon which raised over $28,000 for the CASA Children’s Fund! It was great seeing many of you once again. We hope you enjoyed hearing about how your gifts brighten the lives of children and families involved in foster care.
And now for some numbers from the quarter!
We served 131 children, 18 of whom were newly assigned this quarter, waiting a median of 35 days from referral to match.
38 were aged 0-5, 18% of whom were newly assigned.
30 were aged 6-11, 13% of whom were newly assigned.
52 were aged 12-18, 13% of whom were newly assigned.
11 were over 18 years old, 0% of whom were newly assigned.
61% of children served this quarter were Hispanic or Latino.
85% were in Dependency Care, 8% were in Juvenile Justice, and 7% were in both (dual status).
We are excited to announce that CASA of Monterey County will be joining us in our 3rd annual Move for CASA, on May 6th, 9-11:30am at Elkhorn Slough. We would love to have you join us for this FREE event to gather in the community and get a bit of exercise. Information and registration is available at www.casaofsantacruz.org/moveforcasa