Seven new advocates have joined the volunteer force of Court Appointed Special Advocates, helping CASA reach its goal of serving more abused and neglected children throughout Santa Barbara County than ever before.

On Monday, June 16, at Juvenile Court in Santa Maria, the Honorable Arthur A. Garcia swore in the seven advocates with family, friends, and CASA board members watching.

The newly sworn-in advocates join 253 other community volunteers who are currently serving 373 children throughout Santa Barbara County. “Our goal is to make sure every child in foster care has the support of a CASA volunteer,” stressed CASA’s Executive Director Kim Davis.

“While this is a wonderful achievement, hundreds of children are still waiting for a CASA volunteer. We need more volunteers. People who are concerned about children can get involved and advocate on behalf of our communities’ most vulnerable children,” urged Davis.

Advocates Kalie Bickman, Tricia Bouquet, Randi Cunningham, Marcia Friedlein, Kathryn Love, Debra Maushardt and Maria Velasco raised their right hand as they took the official oath of office. Each received a certificate and pin.

To earn their CASA certification, advocates undergo 30 hours of volunteer training and three hours of court observation.

For more information about volunteering with CASA of Santa Barbara County call (805) 739-9102 ext. 2595 or visit www.sbcasa.org.