The Voice That Matters For Foster Youth
Foster youth in Fresno and Madera counties desperately need a voice as they navigate the court system and life in foster care. That’s where CASA comes in. Our Advocates give hope to each child we serve, paving their way to a better future.
CASA of Fresno and Madera Counties is a voice for abused and neglected children in our community who have been placed in foster care. These children are currently facing loneliness, health issues, a lack of stability, and a great risk of falling behind educationally and developmentally. As adults they are at greater risk of homelessness, substance abuse, imprisonment and more.
Children with a CASA volunteer are more likely to find a permanent, loving home, be connected with supportive services while in the foster care system, perform better academically, and form a stronger sense of acceptance, positivity, and achievement.
Today we have 175 volunteer advocates assisting 225 children. However, there are currently nearly 2,500 foster youth in Fresno and Madera Counties. It is our dream to be able to serve each and every one of these children.
How to become an Advocate
Becoming a CASA Advocate is a profound way to make a difference in the life of a child. There are no special degrees or certifications required, and a desire to help is our greatest criteria.
Attend an Info Session
In this session you’ll get the full picture of the Advocate commitment, and can ask questions to current Advocates on their experience.
Complete Advocate Training
This 30-hour training goes over the in’s and out’s of the foster care and court systems, along with the skills you’ll need to help at-risk youth.
Be Assigned a Child
Once you are sworn in as an officer of the juvenile court, you’ll begin an 18-month assignment to guide a foster youth on their journey.
Stories of Life Change
The role of CASA in service to the courts and in making a real difference in the lives of foster children is irreplaceable. The CASA representative’s viewpoint is at once uniquely neutral, informed, and child-centered.
Having someone there consistently for the last five years, telling me that everything was going to be OK, someone who was not going to give up on me like my mother had, made all the difference in my life.
[My CASA Advocate] taught me how to communicate, how to represent myself and my needs. He helped me understand what was happening in court and taught me how to stand up for myself. When I had something to say, Robert made sure my voice was heard. When I did not want to or could not speak, he spoke for me. At every school event, Robert was there. From ROTC ceremonies to my high school graduation, he was there. When I took hold of my diploma, I heard his cheers above the rest.
I believe my focus and my worldview—that it is not the falling that matters, but the rising every time we fall—is in large part due to the attention that my siblings and I received from our CASA volunteer. I thank her for showing me that my biological mother may have taken away my childhood, but I was in control of what I would do with the rest of my life.The support of my loved ones and my CASA volunteer enabled me to see my past as a source of strength.
The CASA Cause
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) improves outcomes for children in the foster care system and gives hope to at-risk youth. After a child has been removed from their home, due to abuse and neglect, and is placed in foster care, our volunteers work with the court to help judges make informed decisions in the child’s best interests and advocate for the child’s needs, providing ongoing support during their journey through foster care.
Our volunteers, equipped with the Journey of Hope advocacy process, watch over the life circumstances of every foster child appointed to us. They make sure each child has the best opportunity for a health and successful future.
Be the Voice
that Matters for Foster Youth
Our greatest need is for Advocates. You’ll spend 15-20 hours a month working to make a major impact on the life of a child.
Your gifts give foster children hope, going directly to recruiting and training Advocates to make a profound difference in our community.
We rely on the skills and time of passionate community members to do this important work. See how you can use your time and talents for CASA.