CASA makes the crucial connection —
one caring adult to one child in need —
that can be the turning point in a life
that has been disrupted.
Children in the dependency and juvenile justice court system face obstacles in receiving the basic care that all children need, like emotional support and a chance for a stable and loving home. They often lack appropriate education and vocational training, medical and mental health care.
We make sure every child is cared for and has the resources to thrive.
TAKING ACTION AND ADVOCATING FOR A CHILD
MAKING A REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION TO THE COURT
SUPPORTING THE CHILD
— JUNIOR, AGE 16
CASA Advocacy is individualized to the needs of the child and their family.
Through CASA advocacy, our children are meeting more of their educational goals. They are experiencing lower degrees of risk around their mental health and medical wellbeing. They are achieving higher rates of permanency.
CASAs provide consistency in a child’s life. Their support and encouragement can be invaluable to the child in their time in the foster system, and the years after it.
A CASA’s work begins with getting to know a child and their situation. Through our information gathering, we advocate for their best interests and make recommendations to the court so the judge can make the best decision for the child.
This initiative advances CASA/LA’s commitment to help children ages 0-5. In LA County, about a third of the children entering foster care are ages 0-5 with 19% under 24 months. As the developmental needs of the child and expectant and parenting youth are recognized earlier, interventions happen sooner, and children achieve reunification with parents or their permanency option quicker and more successfully.
CASAs can advocate for youth in juvenile justice court and become a critical support system to ensure youth spend the least amount of time in the juvenile justice system as possible. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for youth in the dependency system to come in contact with the juvenile justice system. Youth already served by the dependency system are also more likely to receive harsher sentencing when compared to youth that are not systems involved.
The Essential History program aims to help social workers, attorneys and judges make trauma-informed decisions about the young people they serve by providing them with a summary of the young person’s experiences and history in critical areas of life. Through this program, volunteers complete a detailed review of a child’s file and write a report outlining the child’s developmental, medical, and mental health history to ensure critical details are not overlooked by the various stakeholders in the child’s case.
Prevention and Early Intervention
CASA/LA’s Prevention and Early Intervention aims to support transitional aged youth (12-17) and non-minor dependents (18-21) who are at risk of entering/re-entering systems, including but not limited to: child welfare, juvenile justice, adult criminal justice, homelessness, etc.
“When I met LaTanya, she completely gave me a different perspective on life. Without her I wouldn’t be here today. She’s my educational rights holder, she was that advocate for me. And that’s the reason why I went from having low grades in my sophomore year to getting straight A’s in my junior year. Kids in the foster care system are not all sad and broken. We all want to do good for ourselves.”
– Kim, 19