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News: 06/15/2020

Become a child advocate

CASA volunteer training in July

By Millie Gilson, Executive Director, CASA of Sonoma County

Right now, as we are all dealing with the stress of the coronavirus pandemic, it is more critical than ever that children in foster care have someone who is making sure their needs are met and that our courts have 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 friend to rely on.

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.

At CASA of Sonoma County, we help foster children heal so they can live happier, safer lives. Our CASA volunteers - Court Appointed Special Advocates - make sure foster kids don't get lost in the overburdened legal and social service systems or languish in unsupportive foster homes. CASA volunteers stay with children 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 85 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 a very gratifying work. A CASA is a powerful voice in a child's life.

There are approximately 187 volunteers, and CASA of Sonoma County hopes to recruit another 35 with the next training.

The Summer Volunteer Training, is scheduled to take place over three and a half days beginning on Thursday, July 16, from 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., and continues on Tuesday, July 21 through Thursday, July 23, from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

CASA will provide this training session via an online format. For more information and to sign up for the CASA training, contact Millie Gilson at 707-565-6375 or

Working together, we can end abuse and neglect so that every foster child has a chance to thrive. To find out more about CASA of Sonoma County visit us online at or call us at 707-565-6375.

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