Skip to main content

CASA News

Read Dahlia's story

One of the most important steps for high school seniors is to complete their FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Even if they are not certain they are going to attend college, this is a great first step.
For a step-by-step guide to help your youth complete the FAFSA check out this link!/a>

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

Please join us for Imagine 2018 on Sept 30. This will be a special afternoon to support the only organization dedicated to being the voice for children and youth in foster care, CASA of Santa Cruz County. Enjoy lavish hors d'oeuvres, desserts, wine and beer in the exquisite setting on the hill at the Chaminade. Hear powerful stories from former foster youth and what it has meant for them to have an Advocate with them on their journey.

Come bid on amazing auction items—wine packages, exotic vacations (Hawaii, Costa Rica, and more), and many items crafted and donated by local artists and community members. There truly is something for everyone.

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.

CASA of Santa Cruz County is pleased to announce the appointment of Lynne Petrovic as its new Executive Director effective August 6, 2018. Click for full article

Is now the time for you to take the plunge and become a Court Appointed Special Advocate??
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. Click the image to learn more.

Each month at CASA we celebrate, appreciate and highlight the story and experience of one of our wonderful Advocates. Each has a unique story and perspective and each child that they work with is in a different situation and has different needs. We hope that by sharing their individual stories, we can honor the stories and experiences of all Advocates. This month we got to know Larry Willis

We are so excited to introduce you to Lyndsey Marks! Lyndsey joined CASA of Santa Cruz in June as Development Director. She brings thirteen years of experience working in the non-profit sector with six years in fundraising. Early in her career, she developed a passion for serving youth in need. Working with Bill Wilson Center in Santa Clara County, she helped teens in crisis find much-needed resources to be safe and housed. She developed a nationally recognized best practice youth development program, working with adult mentor volunteers and teen leaders. The last four years, she spent as Development Director for Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition, so don’t be surprised to see her tooling around by bike!

Megan Grewohl joined CASA of Santa Cruz in May as an Advocate Supervisor and specialist with older youth in care. We are so lucky to have her on our team! We look forward to benefitting from her ten+ years of experience working in child welfare. She says her love of working with children was born when she was working in summer camps in Michigan (where she is from). She then went on to working in a residential treatment facility before moving from her small farm home-town to sunny Santa Cruz.

CASA will be offering a daytime training this summer. Rather than the typical evening training of two nights a week for five weeks, this training will be held from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for two and a half weeks, Monday through Thursday in Aptos from August 13 through August 28.

The daytime class is a rare opportunity that we hope you'll take advantage of, as our need for Advocates continues to grow. Sign up at www.casaofsantacruz.org/daytime.

Each month at CASA we celebrate, appreciate and highlight the story and experience of one of our wonderful Advocates. Each has a unique story and perspective and each child that they work with is in a different situation and has different needs. We hope that by sharing their individual stories, we can honor the stories and experiences of all Advocates. This month we got to know Becky Oesterle.

Walk with CASA at the Santa Cruz Pride Parade on Sunday, June 3rd.
Sign up to join us HERE. We'll email details of when and where to meet for the parade.
We will have bubbles and CASA t-shirts, you just bring your smiles, your walking shoes and your love for CASA and the kids we serve.

Whether you have a few minutes, hours, weeks or more, there are lots of ways that you can show your support and make a difference for children and youth in foster care. Click Here to see 25 things you can do! Please be sure to like and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and encourage others to get involved too.

Child Abuse Prevention Month is a great time to get involved and make a difference.You can help make great childhoods happen by becoming a Court Appointed Special Advocate, making a donation or visiting our CASA store and helping spread the word about CASA.

At CASA, we are always looking for ways to celebrate our amazing Advocates. In keeping with that intention, every month we will highlight the story and experience of one Advocate who is working with a child or youth. Every Advocate has a story, and we hope that by regularly featuring individual Advocates, we can honor the stories and experiences of all.
This month, we got to know Savanna Sandusky.

Long-time Advocate Denise Gomez is one of seven recipients of the 2018 Cesar Chavez Community Awards.
Please join us at the awards celebration on Thursday, March 22, from 6 – 8 p.am. at the Civic Plaza Community Room, 275 Main Street, 4th floor, in Watsonville.

At CASA, we are always looking for ways to celebrate our amazing Advocates. In keeping with that intention, every month we will highlight the story and experience of one Advocate who is working with a child or youth. Every Advocate has a story, and we hope that by regularly featuring individual Advocates, we can honor the stories and experiences of all. This month, we introduce you to Tracy Baker. Click to read her story.

Come to an information meeting this month to learn how you can become a Court Appointed Special Advocate.
• Tuesday, March 13, from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Live Oak Family Resource Center, located at 1740 17th Ave. in Santa Cruz
OR
• Wedensday, March 14, from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. at CASA, located at 813 Freedom Blvd. in Watsonville.
Sign up at https://casaofsantacruz.org/volunteer/information-meeting-signup.html

Thank you to everyone who attended CASA's For the Love of Children luncheon on 2/7. It was an amazing event, especially the testimonial of 18-year old CASA youth Raquel and her Advocate, Cindy. Many thanks to Laurie Aiello for taking these wonderful photographs -- you can truly see the love of children in everyone's eyes!

Every Advocate has a story, and we hope that by regularly featuring individual Advocates, we can honor the stories and experiences of all. This month, we sat down with Mari Briones.

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. Click for full article...

The CASA Board would like to share with our community that after serving for six years as the Executive Director of CASA of Santa Cruz County, Cynthia Druley will be retiring in August of this year. Click to read the full announcement.

We have an immediate opening for a part-time Events Coordinator. This position works on the planning and implementation of CASA's two major fundraising events. Approximately 10 hours/week.

At CASA, we are always looking for ways to celebrate our amazing Advocates. In keeping with that intention, every month we will highlight the story and experience of one Advocate who is working with a child or youth. Every Advocate has a story, and we hope that by regularly featuring individual Advocates, we can honor the stories and experiences of all. This month we got to talk with Sarah Amador.

Those smiles are because of the generosity of so many who made this difficult time a little better by their donations.

... but you CAN make a difference for a child in foster care.
The next training to become a Court Appointed Special Advocate begins January 30th.

We simply can’t do this work without you. Your support will have a lasting impact on the lives of children and youth in foster care. Thank you for your continued support for our children.

This month we get to know Val Rathbone.

Take the first step towards making a difference for a child in foster care - attend an information meeting this month.
Sign up at https://casaofsantacruz.org/volunteer/information-meeting-signup.html.

Sign up to attend a CASA information meeting in November at https://casaofsantacruz.org/volunteer/information-meeting-signup.html

At CASA, we are always looking for ways to celebrate our amazing Advocates. In keeping with that intention, every month we will highlight the story and experience of one Advocate who is working with a child or youth.

This month, we’re happy to introduce you to Mette Rubin.

Fall Issue 2017 of the CASA Connection

CASA decided to offer a daytime training after talking with community members that were interested in volunteering but couldn’t participate in the typical training schedule because they do not drive at night, prefer a condensed training schedule, or just like to have their evenings free.

During National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15), we recognize the need for more CASA volunteers who are trained to speak up for the best interest of children in the foster care system. We believe it is important for CASA volunteers to speak the language and understand and appreciate the culture of the children they serve in foster care, so they can make informed recommendations to judges hearing the children’s cases.

Take a look at the pictures from Imagine 2017, September 10th at Chaminade.
Mark your calendars now for September 30, 2018!!

At CASA, we are always looking for ways to celebrate our amazing Advocates. In keeping with that intention, every month we will highlight the story and experience of one Advocate who is working with a child or youth. Every Advocate has a story, and we hope that by regularly featuring individual Advocates, we can honor the stories and experiences of all. We will randomly choose an Advocate who has their volunteer file up to date (monthly logs, insurance information, driver’s license) to be our Featured Advocate each month.

CASA will be offering a special daytime training this fall. Sign up now!

Sign up now to attend a CASA information meeting in September. With just a few hours a week, you can make a difference for a child in foster care.

At CASA, we are always looking for ways to celebrate our amazing Advocates. In keeping with that intention, every month we will highlight the story and experience of one Advocate who is working with a child or youth. Every Advocate has a story, and we hope that by regularly featuring individual Advocates, we can honor the stories and experiences of all.

Please help CASA of Santa Cruz County get a Top Rating! It’s easy and only takes 3 minutes! Go here to get started! https://greatnonprofits.org/reviews/write/court-appointed-special-advocates-of-santa-cruz-county
Thank you!

July Information sessions are:
• Tuesday, July 11, from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Live Oak Family Resource Center, located at 1740 17th Ave. in Santa Cruz
• Wednesday, July 19, from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. at CASA, located at 813 Freedom Blvd. in Watsonville
• Thursday, July 20, from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. at Keller Williams Realty, located at 1414 Soquel Ave. in Santa Cruz
• Tuesday, July 25, from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. at CASA, located at 813 Freedom Blvd. in Watsonville
• Friday, July 28, from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. at Surf City Coffee, located at 9105 Soquel Dr., in Aptos

This month, we sat down with Beth Thomas. Read more...

May Is National Foster Care Month. It's a time to recognize that we each can play a part in enhancing the lives of children and youth in foster care. Here are 25 ways you can help.

Watch Conny's Story