Local CASA program seeks volunteers to advocate for abused, neglected children

Staff Report

Child abuse. Child neglect. Abandoned children. These aren’t easy topics. It is painful to think about children and youth experiencing abuse or neglect. Sadly, it happens every day. Whenever possible, children stay with relatives while social workers help the family heal from drug addiction, domestic violence, mental illness, and countless other situations. 

Sometimes, children must be removed from their homes for their safety and placed in foster care – more recently called “resource homes.” 

CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Santa Barbara County advocates for children and help ensure their safety. Hundreds of volunteers dedicate thousands of hours of their time to benefit children who have gone through the trauma of separation from their families. Throughout Child Abuse Prevention Month in April, CASA is seeking volunteers to help in raising awareness about these issues and taking action to help children in need. 

According to CASA, hundreds of children in Santa Barbara County last year are dealing with abuse and neglect, and abandonment can happen to a child at any age. Babies are at the highest risk as more than 25% of victims are younger than three years old. 

After a year of isolation and challenges presented by COVID-19, this is more important than ever, according to CASA, and the commitment remains to being there for the children who need us most. 

CASA of Santa Barbara County is determined to ensure that every child in our county who has experienced abuse or neglect has a volunteer who will advocate for their needs and best interests. Right now, the nonprofit says 74% of the children who need support in Santa Barbara County are being served. 

Child Abuse Prevention Month is the perfect time to take action, CASA says. Find out how to become a CASA volunteer at sbcasa.org/volunteer. For those who can’t volunteer, another option is to consider joining CASA’s Circle of Hope. A monthly donation of any amount will bring a person into the circle of supporters who give monthly. Learn more at sbcasa.org/circleofhope, or support CASA today with your donation at sbcasa.org/donate.