COVID-19 and how you can help
Dear Friends of CASA,
During this time of uncertainty, it is crucial that children in foster care have someone ensuring that their needs are met, and that our judge has someone that can alert her if a child is unsafe or has unmet needs. With that in mind, our mission and the advocacy and support provided by our volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) are more important than ever. Although our staff is working remotely, we remain operational and our CASAs continue to provide exceptional advocacy.
The current situation, defined by isolation and distancing, rather than community and closeness, has challenged us to come up with new and creative ways to support our youth. Here are just some of the things our staff and CASAs are doing to make sure youth do not fall through the cracks during these unprecedented circumstances:
- CASAs continue to volunteer their time to support their youth remotely, and they are finding inspiring ways to maintain and build connections from afar.
- CASAs are continuing to write and submit court reports, sharing vital information that our judge relies on to make the most informed decisions for the child’s future.
- Our staff has developed a portal where CASAs can learn about educational and supportive resources for youth, and creative ways to stay in touch remotely.
- Our staff is offering virtual meetings, otherwise known as “Confidential Coffee Houses”, for volunteers to stay in touch and offer support to each other and share ideas for working with their youth remotely.
- I am staying in communication with the court, county agency, and other nonprofit organizations that serve our youth to remain apprised of their plans and to find ways for CASAs to support their services to our youth.
Now, as always, we are seeing how CASAs are a crucial link between youth in the juvenile court system and the various professionals that make up our children’s support networks.
How we respond in today’s circumstances will define us as a community for years to come. I am encouraged by the kindness and selflessness that I have seen in so many people. There are many ways, big and small, that we are coming together to support one another and the most vulnerable members of our community. I hope that you will keep Marin CASA and the foster children in our county in mind as you seek meaningful connections and ways to make a difference in the weeks and months to come. If you have considered becoming a CASA Volunteer, but have not had the flexibility in your schedule to attend our Information Sessions, we invite you to attend virtual sessions in the coming weeks. You can access information about these sessions on this site. If you would like to make a secure online donation, DONATE HERE. We are grateful to those of you who are able to remember us during this challenging time, and beyond.
About Marin CASA
Our goal is to see every child live in a safe, permanent and supportive home.
To reach our goal, the Marin CASA program recruits, screens, trains and supervises volunteers who play a critical role in providing a voice for children in the courtroom. Our highly trained, court-appointed volunteers are responsible for making recommendations to the court for the safety, permanence and well-being of every child assigned a CASA.
Our CASA volunteers remain with their child from the beginning to the end of the case and advocate for their child’s fundamental needs including: medical, mental health, educational, cultural and permanent placements. They review records, research information and talk to everyone involved in their CASA child’s life. CASAs have contact with social workers, attorneys, parents, teachers, family members, foster parents, health professional and, of course, the children themselves. They establish a relationship with their child, getting to know his or her unique history while providing consistency and stability during an extremely difficult time in that child’s life.