Joe Giamanco presented Jessica Nolan of Voices For Children a check for $1500. Voices for Children transforms the lives of abused, abandoned, or neglected children by providing them with trained volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs). There are over 4,700 children in the foster care system, over 500 just from Escondidio. CASAs are Court Appointed Special Advocates. Once a CASA volunteer accepts a case, they are officially appointed by a Juvenile Court judge, authorizing them to become involved in the child’s case and gain access to their records. As the Juvenile Court’s eyes and ears for children in foster care, these volunteer advocates speak up on their child’s behalf and help them through what is often a confusing and scary time.
The children they serve have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment. Many feel very much alone—until they meet their CASA. While the foster care system comprises many talented and passionate professionals, it is also overburdened. A lawyer may represent 100 or more children, and a social worker may juggle a caseload of more than 25. CASA volunteers devote their attention to one child or a sibling group, closely monitoring each child’s situation and ensuring their needs are met. A CASA is often the only consistent adult presence in a foster child’s life—the one person a child can truly count on who is not paid to oversee their welfare.