Child Advocates of El Dorado County advocates for and empowers the abused, neglected, and at-risk youth in our community by providing court appointed volunteers who speak up for the needs of children and make a positive impact in their lives.
How We Make a Difference
When children are abused or severely neglected, they must rely on adults to help them obtain justice and services. Who deserves an advocate more than an abused or neglected child?
The heart of our program is the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), a specially trained and supervised community volunteer, appointed by a Juvenile Court judge. CASA advocates make a difference in the lives of abused and neglected children by researching and monitoring cases involving children in foster care.
CASA’s typically take only one case at a time, allowing ample time to gather thorough information. They build relationships with their “CASA kids” by spending time with them, gathering facts about their life so they can report back to the judge; who can then make a more-informed decision as to what services and support are in the best interest the child. These decisions can have life-altering ramifications.
Based on a national audit of CASA programs mandated by Congress and carried out by the Department of Justice, we know that the following outcomes are possible when a CASA advocate is involved in the life of a foster child:
- More services: Foster children who are served by a CASA advocate receive more services to help them recover from their abuse or neglect.
- Less time in foster care: Children who have a CASA in their lives are half as likely to end up in long term foster care.
- Improved recidivism rates: Children who exit the child welfare system with the help of a CASA advocate are 50% less likely to reenter the system.