CASA of Santa Barbara County has been awarded a $56,000 Sustainability Grant from the National Court Appointed Special Advocate/Guardian ad Litem (CASA/GAL) Association for Children.
CASA of Santa Barbara County recruits, trains and supports volunteers who advocate for the best interests of children who have experienced abuse or neglect.
The Sustainability Grant will enable CASA of Santa Barbara County to focus on sustaining service to children, all of whom have experienced the trauma of abuse and/or neglect in Santa Barbara County.
“Last year, thanks to nearly 300 CASA volunteers, we were able to support advocates assigned to 510 children in our community, serving every child that had been referred to us by local judges. Unfortunately, children in our community are in crisis right now, and just since August, our wait list has grown to over 100 children,” said Executive Director Kim Colby Davis.
“The children we serve at CASA are all victims of the crime of child abuse and/or neglect, and some have been abandoned. Nearly half of the children on our current wait list are infants ages 0-3. This grant is much needed in order for us to grow and find more local volunteers to who will help us deal with this crisis, and help to ensure that children are safe and get the services they need to heal.”
The majority of the children in need right now are in Santa Maria and Lompoc, and to address that need, CASA of Santa Barbara County will be holding two training classes in January.
All CASA volunteers are required to complete a 30-hour training class and background check. A training class and will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, starting Jan. 6. An evening class will be taught from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays in Lompoc starting Jan. 21.
After completing training, volunteers typically give 10-12 hours of their time each month, with the support of CASA’s professional staff.
For more information, or to volunteer, go to sbcasa.org/volunteer, call 805-357-2594 or email email@example.com.