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CASA of Ventura County Advocates for Youth

At CASA of Ventura County, we passionately believe that every child impacted by abuse or neglect deserves safety, stability and the chance to flourish, alongside a caring, dedicated advocate. Established in Ventura County since 1985, our journey began within larger nonprofit entities, and in June 2011, we proudly emerged as an independent 501(c)(3) organization.

CASA of Ventura County is committed to recruiting, nurturing and empowering individuals who become sworn officers of the court, advocating for foster children referred by the Juvenile Dependency Court. Our role is pivotal—we stand as a vital resource for the court, serving the most vulnerable children in our community.

From infants to young adults up to 21, we stand by foster children who have been separated from their parents or guardians. Our Advocates offer consistent support, often becoming the singular positive influence in these children's lives until a permanent home is found. Their sole aim? To champion the child's best interests and consult with agencies and professionals involved in their care and education.

Why does this matter? With a dedicated Advocate, a child's prospects for finding a forever home, accessing essential services and building a successful future significantly improve.

 CASA volunteers undergo rigorous screening and a comprehensive 40-hour training before taking on the profound responsibility as sworn officers of the court. And it does not end there—our Advocates continue their education, receiving 12 hours of continuing education annually.

The Role of a CASA Volunteer 

Being a CASA volunteer is no ordinary role. It involves being a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves. They spend countless hours conducting in-depth investigations, speaking with parents, teachers, social workers, and most importantly, the children themselves. The Advocates provide fact-based, detailed reports to judges that assist them in determining the best scenario for the child's future. 

For example, an assigned CASA was matched with a young boy almost 3 years ago. This boy is medically fragile, developmentally delayed and profoundly deaf. He has been residing in an LA County treatment facility whilst his case remains open in Ventura County. Now at the age of 12, his entire life has been spent in this facility.

His dedicated Advocate serving as his Education Rights Holder tirelessly championed his case for over 3 years, facing multiple hurdles without faltering. From consistent visits to immediate action following a deaf diagnosis, to eventually securing a full-time signing assistant, she stayed by his side. Even amid the challenges posed by COVID-19, this advocate persisted, securing admission to a specialized school for the deaf, despite the facility's initial denial.

Throughout the pandemic, the Advocate maintained contact remotely, ensuring the youth's needs were addressed. However, when the school resumed in-person classes, there were obstacles. School authorities declined his attendance due to a medical procedure. The advocate fiercely argued against this denial of education. Eventually, with the support of a Child Advocate attorney, the youth gained permission to attend school, albeit without the requested in-person compensatory instruction. The battle continues, but the progress achieved stands as a small victory.

At CASA, the dedication of our volunteers fuels countless remarkable stories. Their commitment knows no bounds, with Advocates who have devoted themselves for over a decade, some nearing an astounding 25 years of selfless service. These experienced Advocates stand as helpful mentors and even step up as Peer Coordinators. These coordinators, backed by years of experience, play an indispensable role in our success. They meticulously review case reports, conduct interviews with potential Advocates and provide unwavering support to our volunteers. Their contributions are instrumental in enabling CASA to essentially double our caseload, ensuring strong, consistent advocacy for children in need.

How to Help

If volunteering isn't an option, please consider donating. Your contributions help maintain our infrastructure, train volunteers and support program efficiency. Additionally, donations directly aid foster youth, providing essential resources, mentorship and legal advocacy. Your support also bolsters our Kids’ Enrichment Fund. This fund grants youth access to activities and covers unmet needs like holiday gifts, sports, art lessons and medical expenses.

We're a community of passionate individuals united by the belief that every child deserves steadfast support and a voice. Join us in making a profound difference in a child's life. Discover more about volunteering by attending our monthly informational sessions via Zoom.

If you're eager to be the change in a foster child's life, visit or reach out to us at