Five new volunteers will be sworn-in as advocates for CASA of Santa Barbara County on September 8.  The diverse group, which includes participants from Santa Maria to Santa Barbara, will help serve the more than 500 children in the county who are abused and/or neglected.

“We are pleased to welcome these new volunteers who will represent some of the most vulnerable in our community: children,” said Executive Director Kim Colby Davis. “We invite others to attend our upcoming training sessions as we work to achieve our goal of serving every child in the county.”

Last month, 43 abused and neglected children in Santa Maria entered the foster care system. More than 60 children are currently waiting for a volunteer.

The swearing-in ceremony will take place at 4 p.m. at the Juvenile Court, 4263 California Blvd., in Orcutt.

Upcoming Training

Lompoc: Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Sept. 10 through Oct. 1)  

Santa Maria: Wednesdays from 6 to 9 p.m. (Oct. 5 through Nov. 2)

                           

About CASA of Santa Barbara County

CASA, which stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates, trains volunteers who are sworn-in by a juvenile judge to help ensure abused or neglected children find a safe, permanent home as quickly as possible. The role of a CASA volunteer is to act as an extra pair of eyes and ears for the court, collecting information through observation and interviews with key people in the child’s life before reporting back to the judge.

A CASA volunteer advocate speaks on behalf of the child in court. The volunteer meets with the child, family members, teachers, foster parents and others involved in a foster child’s life. The volunteer gathers facts for the court and presents information before a judge in the best interest of the child.

Volunteers complete an application process which includes a screening interview, background and reference checks, and 30 hours of pre-service training. After completion of the pre-service training, volunteers are sworn-in as officers of the court. This gives them the legal authority to conduct research on the child’s situation and submit reports to the court.

For more information, contact Jamie Guista at (805) 357-2595 or email jamie@sbcasa.org.