Location
724 Main Street
Hours
Monday thru Friday, 9am to 5pm (Closed on all Court Holidays)
Phone
(530) 661-4200
E-mail
Volunteer@YoloCASA.org
Web
http://www.yolocasa.org
Application
Court Advocate Application.pdf
Established
1995

Yolo County CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) is a non-profit organization that recruits, trains, supervises and supports community volunteers to become advocates for children (ages 0-18) that are victims of abuse, neglect, or abandonment who are currently receiving services through Yolo County Dependency Court and Child Welfare Services.

History

In 1977, a Seattle judge conceived the idea of using trained community volunteers to speak for the best interests of abused and neglected children in court. So successful was this program that soon judges across the country began utilizing citizen advocates. In 1990, the US Congress encouraged the expansion of CASA programs with passage of the Victims of Child Abuse Act.

As of 2010, there is a network of more than 50,000 volunteers that serve 225,000 abused and neglected children through 900+ local program offices nationwide. The advocates, also known as volunteer guardians ad litem in some jurisdictions, are appointed members of the court. Judges rely on the information these trusted advocates present to be able to make a sound decision when making plans for permanent placement for a child.

Community volunteers founded the Yolo County CASA program in 1995. With the help and support of the Juvenile Court, Yolo County CASA has transitioned from a small start-up operation to a viable, well-established program that provides true advocacy for some of the most vulnerable and needy children in Yolo County. Hundreds of children in Yolo County have benefited from having a caring and consistent CASA volunteer, since Yolo County CASA was founded in 1995.

Becoming a CASA

Becoming a CASA volunteer is a powerful and rewarding experience. As a volunteer, you will be making a difference in the lives of our community's children. Past volunteers have characterized the experience as one of the best things they've ever done and Yolo County CASA always needs more volunteers.

A Court Appointed Special Advocate is a specially trained and supervised community volunteer, appointed by a judge. CASAs make a difference in the lives of abused and neglected children by working with the parties and monitoring cases involving children in foster care. CASAs usually advocate for only one or two cases at a time, allowing ample time to gather thorough information. They build relationships with their "CASA" kids, spending time with them, gathering facts about their life so they can report back to the judge who can then make a much better decision as to what is best for the child.

Qualities:

  • Able to make a minimum of a 18 month commitment to the program and child(ren)
  • Understand and follow the CASA confidentiality policy
  • Respect and relate to people from various backgrounds in a variety of settings
  • Communicate effectively both orally and in writing
  • Gather and accurately record factual information
  • Meet report deadlines and requirements
  • Be objective, open-minded and flexible
  • Act with confidence and courage in advocating for your CASA child(ren)
  • Accept supervision and seek feedback from CASA case supervisors
  • Maintain professional relationships with all community service providers
  • Provide own transportation
  • Pass a volunteer background screening consisting of a national criminal record check, DMV record check, Child Index Registry check and three (3) letters of recommendation.
  • Must be 21 and over

Responsibilities:

  • Maintain consistent contact with CASA child (ren)
  • Maintain consistent monthly (or more often as necessary) contact with CASA case supervisor
  • Submit volunteer reports to CASA case supervisor
  • Keep appropriate case notes
  • Complete court reports in a timely manner
  • Complete 12 hours of continuing education yearly

The CASA Volunteer does not engage in the following activities:

  • Taking a child to the home of the advocate
  • Giving legal advice or therapeutic counseling
  • Making placement arrangements
  • Giving large amounts of money or expensive gifts to the child or the family

Children who are assigned CASA's:

  • Are more likely to do well in school
  • Are less likely to enter the juvenile delinquency system
  • Less likely to languish in foster care
  • Have a better chance of finding a permanent home, compared to children not assigned CASA's.

Board of Directors

  • Ginni Davis, President
  • Mary Patricia Whelan-Miille, Vice President
  • Vicki Rafter, Treasurer
  • Diana Glick, Secretary
  • Beverly Maul
  • Peter Pascoe
  • Joyce Halle
  • Susan Lovenburg
  • Georgia Corbett
  • Tom Hanagan
  • Janet Kappes

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