Today Alyssa is going to community college, working and volunteering at Peace4Kids, a community and family service organization in South Los Angeles. She says she gives back because she knows what foster youth need and want most: love, support and belonging. Alyssa was placed in foster care the day after she was born. She briefly went back to her biological family for a period of time as a child, but went back into foster care for good at the age of 11. From there she bounced from foster home to foster home. But it was Peace4Kids and her CASA volunteer who helped put her on a solid path. Watch this heartwarming story about a former foster youth who found support and belonging with a CASA.
Learn More About CASAs
Many children in the foster care system don’t have a lot of opportunities and don’t have a voice to advocate for themselves. A CASA, or Court Appointed Special Advocate, provides a powerful voice for youth in the child welfare system through a unique one-on-one relationship with a trained and supervised court appointed volunteer. They work to ensure that these youth are safe, have a permanent home and an opportunity to thrive. A Court Appointed Special Advocate visits with a child on a regular basis, interacts with all professionals involved in the child’s case and makes recommendations directly to the court, ensuring the child’s best interests are heard. A CASA will address a child’s educational needs, help find a permanent home and provide the guidance and resources necessary for an independent future. And as extraordinary as they are, CASA volunteers are ordinary people – men and women, students and executives, retirees and busy professionals. To learn more becoming a CASA, visit our Get Involved page.
Why Not You?
January is National Mentoring Month. Volunteering as a mentor or becoming an informal mentor to a young person is a valuable step in igniting a positive effect in your community. It only takes one caring adult to make a difference in the life of a foster youth. Find out how you can get involved at ToFosterChange.org.