A MESSAGE FROM OUR CEO

Dear Friends,

Each day when I walk through the doors of CASA of Los Angeles, the smiles and warmth in the office strike me as a contrast to what often happens in the courtrooms and lobbies here at Children’s Court. This courthouse is a place often filled with tears – some tears of joy after reunifications or adoptions but mostly tears of pain and anguish caused by family separations, trauma, abuse, neglect, or the side effects of addiction.

CASA of Los Angeles provides smiles, warmth and so much more. CASA volunteers (Court Appointed Special Advocates) are often the one, consistent adult in a child’s life. They know the child’s story, they care and advocate for the child’s best interest. They meet with the child not just on court days but once or twice a month – checking in on the child’s progress in school, in meeting developmental milestones, or in getting ready to transition out of foster care and into adulthood.

Who do the 600+ CASA/LA volunteers serve? They serve 1,000 of the more than 30,000 children who have active cases in LA County Dependency Court. Children who are victims of abuse or neglect. Some of them are victims of sex trafficking, others are undocumented, some have parents who are incarcerated or suffering from addiction. Some of them are young adults preparing to exit foster care and facing homelessness.

But these children are not defined by their circumstances. In the face of mighty obstacles, they are strong, hardworking and they have big dreams. It is our collective responsibility to foster their dreams – to counteract the injustices that brought them into the foster care system. That is exactly what CASA volunteers do. They work with the child, in partnership with the child’s attorney and social worker, to ensure safety, improve well-being and increase the chance of quickly ending up in a permanent, loving home. A CASA volunteer advocates for justice – making a real difference, one child at a time.

Please join us. Become a CASA volunteer. Info sessions and trainings happen all over the county at convenient times and locations. If you can’t volunteer now, we welcome you to support CASA of Los Angeles by donating or by attending one of our many fun events. Once you meet the children and youth we serve, you will see that being a CASA volunteer is a labor of love and a social justice experience like no other.

Warmly,

Wende Nichols-Julien
Chief Executive Officer