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May, 2024

SLO CASA recently celebrated our 30th anniversary serving abused/neglected children.  When a child is removed from their home by a local judge, CASA assigns a trained volunteer to help the child navigate the foster care system during a traumatic chapter in their young lives.

Over the last year, SLO CASA has embarked on a journey toward cultivating a workplace that is more inclusive and welcoming for all staff, volunteers, and clients.  Principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) have been incorporated into the policies and practices of the organization while we acknowledge the need for ongoing training to increase our understanding and application of DEI in our workplace.

Our primary DEI focus at this time is threefold:  1) to better serve the Latinx community,  2) to ensure that all foster youth, including BIPOC and LGBTQ feel welcome and included at CASA, and 3) to increase the number of male CASA volunteers to best serve boys in foster care.

While foster youth are assigned social workers, attorneys and foster parents, the CASA relationship is unique in important ways:

  • CASAs are often the only consistent adult in their lives.  A child’s foster home and social worker often changes throughout their case, while a CASA stays with the child from the time they are removed from their home until they exit foster care.
  • CASA volunteers are not paid to support the child.  While foster parents, teachers, and social workers are paid positions, a CASA is there only because they care about the child.  For youth old enough to understand, this is a powerful reminder that they are important and worthy of love and support.

Research shows that a vital indicator for cultivating resilience for children who have experienced trauma is the presence of one caring, consistent adult.  Together, we are changing lives.

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