Santa Maria, Calif. – February 22, 2017 – Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Santa Barbara County held its first meet and greet with The Women’s Fund of Northern Santa Barbara County on Wednesday Evening, February 22, at CASA of Santa Barbara County in Santa Maria. “We were excited to host this wonderful group of women (and a few supportive men!) at our Santa Maria office.” Kim Colby Davis, Executive Director of CASA of Santa Barbara County stated. “We are grateful that the members of the Women’s Fund saw the value that CASA volunteers bring to the lives of abused and neglected children, and we are honored that they chose to fund our program.”
The meet and greet provided an opportunity for our community of women to gather together and learn more about CASA of Santa Barbara County, as well as the opportunity to join The Women’s Fund. More than 50 women networked as wine and hors d’ oeuvres were served. “We are thrilled with the turnout tonight and the response to our organization and to the work of CASA!” said, Amy Curti President of Women’s Fund of Northern Santa Barbara County.
CASA of Santa Barbara County was awarded a $25,000 grant from The Women’s Fund this year to support advocacy for child victims of abuse and neglect, and to assist with advanced training opportunities for CASA volunteers. CASA Associate Director, Aaron Pankratz stated, “Fostering Futures” training offers volunteers working with young adults aged 14-21 with strong connections to resources as they age out of the foster care system. I will facilitate the second session of our “Fostering Futures” training this spring. We are excited to bring this kind of focused training to our volunteers. We will also be presenting “Best for Babies” training, for volunteers who work with our youngest victims, later this year. CASA has a strong commitment to providing our volunteers with excellence in training opportunities, and we are grateful that the Women’s Fund helped make these happen this year.
CASA is unique in that it is the only non-profit program working within the court system using court-appointed community volunteers to help abused and neglected children find safe, permanent, nurturing homes as quickly as possible.
The CASA movement began in 1977 when a Seattle judge conceived the idea of using trained community volunteers to speak for the best interests of children in the dependency system, helping to ensure that they will live in safe and loving environments. The Seattle program proved so successful that judges across the county began using citizen advocates to provide information to the court about the lives of abused and neglected children. Today, there are more than 950 CASA programs operating in the United States.
For more information about volunteering with CASA of Santa Barbara County, making a donation, or getting involved in a variety of other ways, visit www.sbcasa.org or call Crystal Moreno, Recruiting and Outreach Director (805) 739-9102 ext. 2594