Southern California Program

CASA of Los Angeles

Civic and Community
Monterey Park, CA
$300,000
June 2017

CASA of Los Angeles (CASA LA) serves abused and neglected children and youth in the dependency and foster care system with volunteer-based advocacy.  Court-appointed volunteers work one-on-one with these vulnerable children to support them not only through the judicial process, but in all areas of their lives.  Children assigned a CASA volunteer are more likely to do better in school, experience improved wellbeing and have a viable permanency plan, including adoption, than children who do not have an advocate.  In 2016, CASA LA served over 800 children.  Recognizing that there are many more system-involved children who would benefit from a CASA advocate, the agency has launched the Community Collaborations Project to recruit, train and support additional volunteers to serve 1,350 children by 2019.  With the support of a two-year W. M. Keck Foundation grant, CASA LA will expand its presence in the county by co-locating staff at two community agencies – the Child Development Institute in the San Fernando Valley and the First African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Los Angeles.  Establishing these hubs will provide CASA LA with access to new pools of potential volunteers from these organization’s networks and facilitate involvement for those who may otherwise be put off by the lengthy commutes to CASA LA’s offices in Monterey Park and Lancaster.  By the end of the project period, CASA will have identified a third partner in the South Bay or Long Beach, which will give it a presence in all five of the county’s supervisorial districts.

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