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Nonprofit group celebrates 25 years of advocating for foster children

Posted at 3:40 PM, Dec 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-07 00:34:48-05

Court Appointed Special Advocates in San Luis Obispo County is celebrating 25 years of service as it looks for more volunteers.

The program, better known as CASA, is a national service that matches independent, court-appointed volunteers to advocate for children in the foster care system. The San Luis Obispo County chapter has been in operation since 1993.

On Thursday, CASA held a fundraiser luncheon the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo to make 25 years of service. KSBY’s Scott Daniels hosted the event.

Choir at Thursday’s CASA luncheon at the Madonna Inn. (KSBY photo)

Advocates get to know their assigned foster care child spending time with them. They then advocate on the behalf of the children in courts to help them receive the resources and outcomes that are best for the child, according to CASA.

There are approximately 500 children in the foster care system, and CASA represents 40% of them in court, according to CASA San Luis Obispo. CASA typically matches one advocate per child, though that can vary.
The fundraising effort primarily goes to help pay for staff. CASA says it is always looking for more volunteers in nearly all walks of life.

“Most of our demographic is women, and many are retired or not working, but that’s not across the board,” said board of directors president Kelly Sanders. “We’ve had college students be advocates, we’ve had people with young children that have made time in their schedules to advocate for a child.”

CASA holds no commitment informational meetings for those interested in becoming advocates. Find more information on the CASA website.