CASA of the Eastern Sierra, a non-profit collaboration and partnership between Wild Iris Family Counseling and Crisis Center and the Inyo and Mono County Superior Courts, seeks dedicated volunteers to advocate on behalf of foster children trying to navigate the often confusing and frightening dependency system.
CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteers are the bridge between the reality of a foster care or placement existence and a brighter future. After training and subsequent appointment by a judge, volunteers become advocates for children whose futures rest in the hands of Dependency Court judges. CASA volunteers work one-on-one with the children, biological and foster parents, teachers, therapists, and others involved in the child’s life. They conduct independent investigations of a foster child’s circumstances, and communicate what the child desires or needs. Their findings are reported to the Court by the volunteer who advocates for the child.
“Imagine being a child removed from your parents and placed in the home of a stranger. It’s likely you are confused, frightened, and uncertain as to what the future holds,” said Virginia Bird, Domestic Violence Task Force Chair, Inyo Superior Court Assistant CEO, and Advisory/Steering Committee Member for CASA of the Eastern Sierra.
Interested volunteers must be at least 18 years of age and willing to commit at least one year to the program. Potential volunteers attend an orientation meeting, are interviewed, undergo a criminal background check, and complete up to 36 hours of free, in-depth training before being sworn as a CASA volunteer.
The first training is scheduled to occur in September. Inyo and Mono counties are hoping to train 15-20 CASAs in the kick-off event, with some twenty instructors and community leaders training the group. Trainings will be in Inyo and Mono County locations, and those who complete the training will be certified CASAs for both counties. If you are interested in becoming a CASA, please contact Lisa Reel, Executive Director of CASA/Executive Director of Wild Iris, at 760.873.6601 or email@example.com. –Press Release