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CASA of Sonoma seeking new volunteers

Train to become an advocate for a child in foster care

It is more critical than ever that children in foster care have someone who is making sure their needs are met and that the courts have appointed trusted and trained advocates who can alert them if a child is in danger or has critical needs. By becoming a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), you take an important step toward ensuring foster youth know they have a support system and a friend to rely on. Training to become a CASA starts July 15.

Anytime a child is abused or neglected, it’s a tragedy — one that all too often scars victims for a lifetime.

Studies have shown that foster children are more likely to struggle in school, have run-ins with law enforcement, experience homelessness or abuse drugs or alcohol. Research also shows that abused children are more apt to grow up to abuse their own kids.

CASA of Sonoma County helps foster children heal so they can live happier, safer lives. CASA volunteers ensure foster kids don’t get lost in the overburdened legal and social services systems or languish in unsupportive foster homes. They support each child until their court case is closed and the child is placed in a safe, permanent home.

We invite our community to give the gift of time and friendship to a child in foster care. Juvenile court officials have identified an additional 55 youth who need advocates, and CASA is appealing to Sonoma County residents to volunteer. If you care and have about 10 hours a month to spend, being a CASA can be very gratifying work. A CASA is a powerful voice in a child’s life. According to executive director Millie Gilson, there are approximately 187 volunteers, with the goal of recruiting another 35 for the next training.

The summer volunteer training is scheduled to take place online during the following dates and times: Thursday, July 15, from 10 a.m.–1 p.m., continuing on Tuesday, July 20, through Thursday, July 22, from 9 a.m.–12:30 p.m. For more information and to sign up for the CASA training, contact Millie Gilson at 707-565-6375 or [email protected]

To find out more about CASA of Sonoma County, visit their website at www.sonomacasa.org.

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