Did you know that there are more than 400 foster youth and children in Monterey County California? These are kids who are legally removed from unsafe homes because of physical abuse, sexual abuse or severe neglect.
Kids who are raised in foster care truly need a good support system as they face some unique challenges. Often they get shifted from place to place and end up lacking the support of a secure family structure. In the United States, 80% of these kids end up as delinquents.
There is hope, though. CASA of Monterey County is the ONLY local nonprofit organization of its kind!
CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates that are recruited and trained to work as community volunteers helping neglected and abused foster kids as court appointed advocates. They exists so that neglected and abused kids in protective care can get an opportunity to come successful adults.
What a great idea. We seriously need a CASA in every county!
When they complete their training, each CASA volunteer is assigned to a child in dependency by the Superior Court Family Judge. Then they are required to get to know the child and speak with family members, caregivers, attorney, educators, therapists, social workers and any other person involved with the child. This is to get a clear picture of the best interest of the child and to be able to advocate effectively for those interest and report back to the judge.
How much of a difference does CASA of Monterey County make?
Just ask the foster kids they have helped! Check out their Our Stories page to see what they are saying. Many express the happiness they feel. They share what it feels like to have someone advocate for them, to have someone who cares what their opinion is, and to have someone care about their well-being. You can also read the stories of Craig and Lily and see how they have improved after received help from CASA.
CASA of Monterey County beliefs
CASA is set on the belief of putting themselves second so that a child can be placed first. This puts the child’s needs as the top priority and as the central focus in decision making. All children deserve to be treated with dignity and respect and to have their opinions validated. Their goal is to ensure foster youth and children return to permanent, loving and a safe homes. CASA also feels a responsibility to educate the community about the issues of child maltreatment.
If our society agrees that there should be a system in place to remove a child who is a victim of abuse or neglect to ensure their well-being and safety, it should also not expect the system to care for that child. We must all take responsibility for them.
We ask that you consider supporting this cause with a CASA car donation. CASA of Monterey County was named the 2018 Nonprofit of the Year because of the great work they do in advocating for neglected and abused children. Donate a car for kids and be apart of this great effort.