Welcome to C.A.S.A. of San Bernardino County

In San Bernardino County, there are over 5,000 children and youth living in foster care.  They are not only victims of abuse and neglect, but as a result have been removed from their homes and family and placed into foster care.  Left with little or no consistent guiding presence in their lives, they are often lost, confused, and alone.  Sadly, they then must learn how to survive and navigate the complicated and overburdened child welfare system.

But they don't have to do it alone.

Every day Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) volunteers mentor and advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in the courtroom, the classroom, and the health system. Volunteer advocates—empowered directly by the courts—offer judges the critical information they need to ensure that each child’s rights and needs are being attended to while in foster care.  Volunteers become the voice for their appointed child.  For many of our foster children, a CASA volunteer is the only constant adult presence in their lives that is inspiring them, challenging them and motivating them as they navigate through the child welfare system together, hand in hand.  We currently have a waitlist of over 200 youth, we need your help.  Volunteer today!

 

  • Before assigning young people to group homes or other residential treatment facilities, child welfare judges need more information, according to a report from the Building Bridges Initiative and Association of Children’s Residential Centers. One item on this must-know list: Whether or not professionals have explored all possible placement options for a youth, including living with a family member.

  • Recently, I was interviewed by a high school student. She interviewed me for an assignment that required her to get the perspective of a former foster child. I obliged, and here’s the second part of that conversation (read the first part here):

    HS Student: Are you still affected by your time in foster care, even to this day?

    Me: Yes and I must point out, I’m more affected by the events that led me into foster care. You know, the abuse and failure in parenting and protection. I refuse to blame everything on foster care but yes, my time in the system certainly caused further damage in some ways.

  • All too often, children in care are seen as dangerous, delinquent or damaged goods. The circumstances of their early life, which are likely to include trauma, abuse and neglect, are commonly forgotten. Instead, we see communities protesting against residential care homes being built in their neighbourhood. We think children in care are there because they have somehow played a part in their fate. They’ve become a number, a case, a file.

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