LA2050

With My LA2050 grant, CASA continues work helping LA's most vulnerable foster youth

Posted September 24, 2016 by

For more than thirty years, CASA of Los Angeles has been providing highly trained volunteer court-appointed special advocates (CASAs) to aid abused and neglected foster youth, forever transforming their lives for the better.

What exactly does a CASA do? A CASA is assigned by a Dependency Court judge to an at-risk child and investigates the child's home life, identifying educational, physical and mental health challenges, and meeting with all the adults in the child's life, including parents, teachers, lawyers and social workers. The CASA then makes recommendations to the judge – offering suggestions for ensuring the child's safety, achieving permanency and promoting the child's well-being. The CASA also supports the child over the long-term on a personal basis, as a stable adult who cares about the child without being paid to do so.

It takes a special person to be a CASA. Because it requires such a significant commitment of time, experience, resources, and energy, recruitment efforts require strong marketing to further brand and advertise CASA/LA as an important volunteer experience for community members. Through the My LA2050 grant, CASA was able to:

  • Add four full-time staff members focused on recruitment and outreach to communities throughout Los Angeles County.
  • Increase training staff to include three full time trainers, broadening training opportunities and allowing CASA/LA to more quickly process volunteer applications, conduct prospect interviews, and provide pre-service training.
  • Advertise on local NPR stations, promoting CASA of Los Angeles as an opportunity to prospective volunteer candidates interested in community affairs.

The My LA2050 grant also provided CASA/LA a new level of exposure that greatly aided in recruiting more volunteers. Since the beginning of the grant, CASA has significantly increased the number of volunteer inquiries received, the number of people attending information sessions each month, and the number of viable applicants. The organization is currently on track to recruit and train 250 new CASAs by the end of 2016! In addition, CASA has been able to increasingly recruit from populations which best reflect the children served, including the Spanish-speaking, Latino, and African-American communities, as well as engaging more men and volunteers from a wider array of professions and age groups.

Through the My LA2050 grant, CASA of Los Angeles is building its capacity and working to transform the lives of our community's most vulnerable citizens: abused and neglected children in the foster care system.

To volunteer or learn more about CASA of Los Angeles' work, visit casala.org