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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

CASA of Sonoma County (Court Appointed Special Advocates of Sonoma County)

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Centers to Support the Independence of Specific Populations, Child Abuse Prevention, Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Crime & Law, Domestic Violence, Human Services, Protection Against Abuse

Mission: Sonoma CASA Program is committed to serving the abused and neglected children in Sonoma County who come before the Juvenile Court for protection. The purpose of CASA is to humanize the complicated, unfamiliar, and frightening legal and child welfare systems for the child victim by providing a trained volunteer who will act as a consistent mentor, role model, support person, and advocate.

Target demographics: To help the abused and neglected children of Sonoma County.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 180-200 abused and neglected children in Sonoma County, on average.

Geographic areas served: Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, CA, USA

Programs: Volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) are everyday people who are trained and then appointed by judges to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children. Our Program Goal: 1. Advocate vigorously for the rights of abused/neglected children in Sonoma County ensuring that all "reasonable efforts" have been made for a child at every stage of the court dependency process. 2. Improve the quality of information presented to the Juvenile Court on behalf of the child by informing the court of the child's adjustment and state of mind. Relevant information is gathered and appropriate case recommendations made in a written case report. 3. Develop and implement a sound program management plan which includes recruitment, retention, supervision, and training of a competent volunteer corps which is ethnically, racially, and linguistically representative of the population to be served.

Community Stories

94 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Throughout my years as a foster child, things could get pretty lonely, sad, and scary. Thanks to the CASA program, I was able to build and maintain a constant relationship with someone who wasn't a social worker, group home staff, or "official" feeling. It really helped me to have a person who not only valued me and our time together, but also to advocate for me and my best interests. It is great to have someone by your side in a more fun, casual capacity that doesn't feel like a sterile, transactional relationship.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Trustworthy, transparent and accountable organization. We have been funding CASA for years and do not plan to ever stop. It is a wise investment and a way to support the court system as well as the hundred of abused and neglected children that could use a voice.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Being a CASA means developing a close relationship with a child or youth in foster care. Often you are the only person whose ONLY agenda is to help this person thrive. You spend time, you listen, you provide thoughtful feedback, you help to link your child with important community resources. Sometimes you just take a walk or have a cup of tea. These are children and youth who really need an advocate. It’s not an easy job.
And you are responsible for reporting to the judge every six months on progress, issues, needs. (And the judge does really read your report.) If you’re looking for a very meaningful volunteer experience, check out CASA.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

CASA’s are amazingly dedicated caring people! EVERY child needs to know they matter, and CASA’s are there for the children when they need the support the most.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Such a wonderful agency in support of our Foster youth! I’m proud to be part of their mission. The staff of volunteers are available to assist in your volunteer tasks. They are amazing at getting things for the kids. My most recent example was getting a Chromebook for a youth in high school! Additionally, other school supplies were made available such as backpacks, filled with paper, writing utensils, etc. I am proud to be part of this amazing agency!!!

1 Cindy Martineau C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What a special way to make a difference in the lives of our local youth who are in families that are struggling. I have volunteered with three sisters for 12 years as they transitioned back into their mothers home. They still need support and guidance as they grow into young adults with their learning disabilities and educational programs. It has been such a pleasure to work with this family and become one of their "family friends" as the years continue. The CASA program is supportive and there for you as you navigate the court system and become the childrens advocate. Wonderful experience!!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

3 of my grandchildren have been adopted through the foster adopt program and my daughter has fostered 3 more. The CASA volunteers are a wonderful resource, looking out for the child's best interests throughout the foster system and are very much appreciated by our family! Thank you!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

CASA holds a special place in my heart and is one of my charity’s preferred when writing a check. The organization is truly imperative for the child, who has been neglected and removed by no fault of their own. In this world today it’s difficult finding another human to have one’s back! Many years ago I served on the Board in Sonoma Co. and am reminded how important this non profit is to our greater community. I admire all the CASA volunteers for their steadfast commitment !

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

CASA is absolutely the most accountable and transparent organization I have ever interacted with. Their focused mission has been consistent over the years and the work with foster youth very rewarding.
Please consider getting involved somehow and be part of the supportive team of CASA volunteers that have been the arm of the Juvenile Court here in Sonoma County for over 20 years.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Great team and great management!
Love working with CASA of Sonoma County.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a social worker, I work with CASA on a frequent basis. They are so dedicated to the youth they serve and make my job so much easier! I love CASA.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I was on the founding board of CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Sonoma County. I served the limit of six years and watched it grow and become a vital aspect of the juvenile dependency court.

CASA is a program matching advocates with children who have been removed from the home for abuse or neglect and placed in the juvenile dependency court system. The advocate spends 2-4 hours per week with the child providing mentorship as well as advocating for the child's interests in court.

As with any new program, CASA was met with skepticism by social workers and attorneys. It is now a robust program lauded by those same skeptics. One adult can make an enormous difference in a child's life, particularly when that child has been victimized by a parent's shortcomings, illnesses and addictions. It makes the difference between that child overcoming their abuse or growing up to be an addict/abuser themselves.

These hurt children also run the risk of becoming youthful offenders and ending up in the juvenile justice system.

The advocates commit to a very high level of volunteerism. The screening and training is intensive. Their commitment to a child is for a minimum of one year and often exceeds two years.

There are few immediate rewards for an advocate. They serve knowing that they may never see the fruits of their labor, may never be thanked or outwardly appreciated by the child they are serving. But they have faith that the time with their child makes a difference.

CASA of Sonoma County has been very fortunate to have Millie Gilson as the executive director for all of its years. I've never met a more passionate and dedicated child advocate. She is tireless in all aspects of the organization -- from program development, advocate training, board development, fundraising, ongoing training.

CASA of Sonoma County is most deserving of continued support from generous donors.

1 Sofia B.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Although I just began my journey as a CASA, I can already tell it is one of the best decisions I have made in my college career. I currently serve as an office intern and as a CASA. I just took on my case and I am so excited to see what I will learn from my CASA kid throughout this journey. I am learning a lot about the foster system and important sociological/psychological concepts by being an office intern and CASA. This program is incredibly life-changing, both for volunteers and CASA kids!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Very impressed with my experience with this organization. They are well organized and always available to help out where needed. The experience working with children in need is rewarding, fulfilling, and invaluable.

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6

Advisor

Rating: 5

CASA is a non-profit organization that trains, supervises, and supports citizens of the community as they advocate for children in foster care, as well as those involved in the delinquency system. I have been involved with the CASA organization for over six years now and it has been the most valuable/ rewarding experience I have ever had. My hope is that everyone who is taking the time to read this, will take the time to find out more about CASA and how they can become involved. Remember - children are our future!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization is a lifesaver for kids in the foster care system.

1 JoAnn A.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

From the comprehensive training to the warm support of the volunteer supervisors, the programs at CASA of Sonoma County deliver at every turn. Of course, the work with youth is the heart of the program, and those hours have added immeasurably to my life. I have learned from the network of specialists surrounding the foster youth, and I have felt the honor of being among them as we struggle to provide what the foster youth need to succeed. It is hard work, at times frustrating, and it requires the best of the volunteers. What other volunteer opportunity can make such a claim?

1 Kathleen Carroll E.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I went through the CASA training in January, 2018 - which was very thorough. I felt prepared to meet my CASA child. My 9 year old boy and I just celebrated our six month anniversary and have gotten together each week to talk, hang out, eat dinner, play at places like Epicenter, Rebounderz, Driven, Scandia, go to movies, etc... He is a wonderful boy who has loving grandparents taking care of him .

I became a CASA volunteer to positively enrich a child's life through support and encouragement and I feel like we are good for each other. We both look forward to our evenings together and I know that he feels he can talk to me about anything - without judgment.

The CASA Volunteer Supervisors are always available to answer my questions and give me advice.

I highly recommend becoming a CASA and a few of my co-workers and friends are pursuing this opportunity because I shared my experience.

Kathy

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer with CASA of Sonoma County for about a year and a half. In that time I have had the privilege of assisting three different families during their experiences with the child welfare system. Having the opportunity to interact with foster youth, biological parents, foster parents, social workers, educators, therapists, attorneys and many other professionals is an interesting, challenging and eye-opening experience. As a CASA, I work always to help advocate for what is in the best interest of the child, navigating a complex and flawed system along the way. What I have consistently found throughout this process is that ALL people are flawed and that at their core almost ALL people are good.

Working as a CASA requires that I put my heart on the line, choosing to do what I can to ease the burden of the children I work with. Often that means adopting their struggles and pain; helping them to feel that they have someone they can share with, rely on, and trust. There are days that I feel sad or frustrated, but then there are days when I feel so proud and excited about the progress one of my kids or their families are making. My eyes have been opened to the struggles faced in our community and to the many biases that exist.

CASA of Sonoma County provides a great support system to ensure you have guidance and direction throughout your experience. If you think that you have the heart and the skills to take on caring about a child, putting their best interest ahead of your own ideas, and making the time in your life to try to make a difference in their future then you might make an amazing child advocate. Reach out to CASA today to find out more!

2 cahillrn

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a donor to CASA for many years. Their outstanding service for supporting foster children is unmatched. In the near future I plan to become a CASA to a special child in the community. Until then CASA is my charity of choice to donate to financially.

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8

Donor

Rating: 5

I love CASA and their mission. Children are the vulnerable in our society and it is our duty to make sure they are cared for. When children are in the "system" they need us even more. CASA volunteers are assigned a child and are there to advocate for that child to ensure the best decisions are made for the child's benefit. So far I have only been a donor to this outstanding organization, but in the very near future I plan to become a CASA volunteer and make a difference in a child's life. Thank you, Carole

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2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I took the training to be a CASA volunteer shortly after I retired and I have been an advocate for my youth for over 4 years. As typical for a child in foster care my youth was moved several times and had changes in his social worker and schools. For the past 4 years I have been steady presence in his life visiting and going on outings and most importantly, listening. I have been able to work with his teachers and care takers to be certain he is getting all that is available to ensure happy and healthy development. The CASA organization is literally available 24/7, able to provide counseling and services to enrich both the life of my youth and certainly mine.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been with this agency since it's inception almost twenty one years ago. I have had the honor to advocate for seven young women as a CASA volunteer. I was able connect with these girls on a personal and professional level. In each case they were able to give so much value and texture to my life by allowing me to see that there are life experiences that are different from mine but that adversity can and will be overcome. I have come to value each and every human being and seeing potential in them. I also served in the office as a Training Coordinator for two years. In that capacity I have come to value and appreciate the players in the Social Service system in this county. There is a dedication to these children and a compassion that permeates from the professionals in their field from Social Workers to Supervisors of Human Services to the judges whose burden is such that I am honored to be able to report to them to make their decisions more informed and clear. If you want to make a difference in your life and the life of the future generations you will look into this nonprofit.

2 Jade R.1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a CPS social worker I have worked with families in which one or more of the children had a CASA volunteer. In every case, CASA matched the child with a CASA that would be a goof fit for the family. For example, in a family with Spanish-speaking parents and bilingual children, CASA assigned a bilingual CASA volunteer who could also communicate with the parents. In another case, the boy who loved sports was assigned a CASA that also loved sports. In each case the CASAs were caring and responsible and communicated their observations of the child and family with both the social worker and the court. Some CASAs continue working with the child through the end of the case, which for some children can be years. One CASA helped the family find needed housing. The children we serve very much need stable, caring and responsible adult role models. CASAs are an essential part of the Child Welfare system!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I give my time, I like it to matter; I like to be clear about my duties, responsibilities, and purpose. CASA fulfills these requirements completely. The training is thorough and thoughtful, with presentations from all of the important organizations who care about and provide services for foster youth. From the training, the new CASA has an inside view of a system that has a most important purpose - care for abused and neglected children - and a sense of what the volunteer can do to help.

I recommend CASA to all my colleagues in the schools who contemplate retirement and want to continue to work with kids. The "work" is meaningful, simple, and often even fun.

6

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a social worker with the Sonoma County Family, Youth and Children Division of the Human Services Department. I have worked with many families over the years in which one or more of the children had a CASA volunteer. I have also attending many Team Decision Making Meetings in which a CASA was present as a child advocate. I have been so impressed with the kindness, generosity and professionalism of the CASA volunteers. Oftentimes the families with which we work are facing serious challenges such as poverty, mental illness, substance abuse, medical health problems, and a history of trauma for both parents and children. Sometimes children are removed from their parents' care and the parents fail to reunify with their children and the children are cared for by relatives or foster parents. In some cases they go on to be adopted. In these long term cases the CASA stays in the child's life, continues to advocate for the child, spend time with the child, and report to the child welfare court how the child is doing. The CASA volunteer is a very important member of the team of professionals who are supporting the child. I know of one CASA (years ago) that helped a 13 year old girl raise money for her 8th grade trip to Washington DC. This was a girl who had never been on a plane and may not have every travelled outside of Sonoma County. This same CASA spent time with her each week her out to eat and to fun activities that her family had not been able to provide for her. This same CASA helped the family find a beautiful home to rent in a much safer neighborhood than where they had been living. CSA of Sonoma County and the CASA volunteers are providing an amazing service to high risk children and indirectly to their families as well. I am so grateful for all the work they do!

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a CASA volunteer for 13 years. I stay involved because I know how important this service is to abused, abandoned, and neglected kids that, through no fault of their own, find themselves separated from their families. CASA is a well-run, highly efficient organization that very effectively gives these kids hope and chances for success to which they otherwise would not have access.

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10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've just completed my 10th year as a CASA volunteer; all with the same young man. It's been an amazing growth experience for both of us. Now, besides continuing to mentor my now-emancipated "CASA Kid", I help train incoming CASA's, providing insights as to the program's responsibilities. In the past few years, the young man has shared the podium with me, giving these recruits a full dose of what living in the system is really like, and the importance of CASA in his life.
Friendships, lawyers, social workers, group and foster homes, schools (and more) typically change frequently in the chaotic day-to-day experience of kids who are "wards of the court". Often, the CASA volunteer is the only consistent, reliable relationship these kids can count on to be there for them. And, we have been officially appointed to represent these kids in court. The judge gives as much weight to recommendations made by CASA's as by any other court official.
Being a CASA is sometimes frustrating, usually challenging, and always rewarding. This organization is definitely worth your financial support, or (and better yet) your personal involvement. Join us!

6

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I am glad I was a CASA volunteer. The training for the volunteers was excellent and the support good. I encountered many children who had little consistency in their homes and so I tried to provide a bit of consistency by meeting weekly and doing different fun and creative activities with my child.Bouncing around on a ship in the ocean hoping to see whales and feeling sea sick was most memorable! Perhaps the the hardest thing for me was to not know if the time spent with my child was really helping the child to navigate through life in a better way. I guess one may never know, but one just hopes so!


6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Being a CASA not only enriches the life of a foster youth, it enriches the life of the CASA.

As a CASA, you have something wonderful to offer the youth... your presence and your acceptance of him or her "as is." You are not getting paid to be there; you want to be there.

I had the privilege of "being there" for a young teen, who is now a prospering young adult. It wasn't always easy; there were many bumps in the road. Yet today, she tells me that my presence in her life really made a difference. She says, "You were the only one who visited me in Juvenile Hall. I always knew that you cared about me. You were MY CASA. You never put me down. You held me in your heart and I will always hold you in mine."

CASA of Sonoma County has a wonderful support staff, excellent training and an extraordinary commitment to helping the most vulnerable members of our community, our "kids"!

4

Former staff

Rating: 5

Sonoma CASA is amazing organization that focuses on supporting and encouraging foster youth as they maneuver the foster care system. The CASA staff are knowledgeable about the court and foster care system and provide continuous support to the volunteers.

5

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

CASA of Sonoma Co. is a key component of the Juvenile Court System of our county. The program provides a consistent adult connection for foster children. This consistent adult is a volunteer who donates his/her time to advocate for these foster kids in the courtroom, classroom and community...making a difference!

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with CASA as a volunteer for over 20 years . I have had many rewarding relationships with children, families, community workers, CASA staff and volunteers. I feel that CASA provides a voice for many children who otherwise would not have trained and caring advocates outside of their families and government professionals. When we help children, we help better the future for all of our family and the world. CASA has many dedicated workers and volunteers who believe in helping as many children in need as we possibly can. CASA warms my soul.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I first heard of CASA through a friend from TX, I decided to check out the organization here in my town. From my very first contact, I knew I wanted to volunteer. The professionalism of the staff coupled with their warmth and compassion for every child in foster care was clearly evident. During the training we heard from a variety of professionals serving these children; social worker, lawyer, the judges, probation officer, therapists and more. The calibre of each presenter was so impressive. I was deeply moved by their compassion and commitment to the well-being of each and every child. I had no idea we have so many incredible, dedicated human beings working together to create a better future for the children, youth and their families in the system. I feel privileged to be a part of the CASA organization, to be a voice for a child, and a part of the greater team.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Becoming a CASA has been one of the most gratifying experiences I have ever had! The training I received was top of the line, very organized, informational, and a pleasure to be a part of. I am very proud and genuinely humbled to be a CASA to a young brother and sister that are in the foster system. I would highly recommend it to anyone that has the heart and desire to help children.

6

Donor

Rating: 5

We have supported CASA for over 15 years without a doubt the best support system for children in need. The director is superb and extremely dedicated to the entire organization and especially the kids.

5

Former staff

Rating: 5

I have a professional working relationship with CASA. I have seen first hand the dedication and compassion the CASA employees towards their mission. This is a special organization to have in our community. They contribute to the lives of foster children as well as enhance the community with well-trained volunteers, an active and an active and hard working Board, and provide the non-profit sector with an outstanding and efficiently managed non-profit.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer, in various organizations, for about 45 years and can say without hesitation that my time with CASA has been the most meaningful of all. Not only have I had the chance to become close to some wonderful, sensitive children, but I also have had the satisfaction of knowing that I have been able to impact their lives in sometimes substantial ways. For example, I just returned this morning from a court hearing in which my comments regarding the child's future were welcomed by the social worker, the attorneys and the judge. I am proud to be part of this fine organization, which cooperates so well with our partners in Sonoma County who also care deeply about the welfare of our children.

5

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have seen the amazing things that this program achieves with the students that I work with as a school counselor. I support it whole heartedly!

5

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

CASA has hosted interns from SRJC for many years. Student interns always gain valuable experience because the staff provide excellent training and supervision.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have participated in many different kinds of volunteer work over the years, but my experience with CASA has been life changing. It does my heart good to see how much this organization truly cares about children, and everyone on their staff is dedicated to the safety and wellbeing of the youth in their community. I have been a CASA for about 6 months now, and I sincerely feel like it gives me the opportunity to make a difference in a young person's life. I hope that if you are reading this review, you will consider donating to this top notch organization, or maybe even becoming a volunteer. I guarantee that you will be glad you did!

3

Former staff

Rating: 5

I can truly say this nonprofit is nothing but pure good. I've seen so many adults and youth be positively changed by CASA of Sonoma County. It fills a void no other nonprofit does and is a guiding light for so many.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A TOTALLY impressive organization. Having been involved with them as a Board member and in other capacities for about 10 years I am fully aware of the good it has done for the children. Very well run organization - it's all about the kids.

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5

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been on the CASA Board of Directors for 7 years. During this time, I have been exposed to an indepth knowledge of the organization. CASA has a very skilled and experienced Executive Director. Through her leadership, the organization remains fiscally stable and is able to provide very valuable services to the youth who have been identified by the Court as needing support. The volunteers who work with youth provide them with a stability most have not experienced in their lives. This is a wonderful organization.

5

Donor

Rating: 5

I have heard the stories and met a few of the children this organiAtion helps. I know every dollar I give goes towards helping these unfortunates.

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am a newer foster parent of a teen boy who had been living in a group home for many years. He came to live with us when he was kicked out of his group home due to his non-compliant behavior. His CASA has been a fixture in his life for years. Despite the turmoil of adolescence, made especially precarious for youth in long term foster care, my foster son has stabilized and is beginning to spread his wings. He seeks out his CASA for companionship and his CASA has a grounding effect on him. His CASA is straightforward to the court about my son's needs and we both rely on him to advocate for the services necessary to keep my son moving in a positive direction.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) fills a very specific need in our community. Foster children are given a voice - sometimes for the first time in their lives. As a volunteer, you develop a relationship with a foster child and teach them by example that adults can be dependable, trustworthy and caring. Almost as important is what is learned as a volunteer ; resiliency, hope, courage. Foster children teach us so much more than we can teach them.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a CASA for nearly two years and take great joy in knowing that I, through the CASA Program, have had a concretely real, boots-on-the-ground positive and important impact on the life of a very troubled youth. Being a CASA through the Courts allows me to have a real say in all the essential things in a youth's life from education to housing and medical/psychological needs to simply providing some fun in an otherwise not-fun life and hope with a plan for their future.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

CASA of Sonoma County is an amazing nonprofit! I became a volunteer recently after attending the summer training session. The director and staff are incredibly supportive and dedicated to the mission of advocating for abused and neglected children. The role of CASA is so important in the community and I am proud to be a volunteer child advocate with this program.

5

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

CASA of Sonoma County is an exceptional organization that serves the at-risk youth in Sonoma County. You would not think that there would be orphaned/abused/neglected children in such an expensive area- the wine country- but, surprisingly, there is a huge need in this county. CASA serves in a role that is unlike any other. They are the conduit between child in need to a child who is cared for and mentored; And who is represented in family court so that every aspect of their needs is discussed and heard by the family court judge via representation from a CASA volunteer (among others). Volunteering as a CASA is by no means easy. It's a large time commitment, training, spending quality time with your child, following through with reports and other tasks. But it is all in the interest of your CASA child, which makes it a rewarding experience, and at the same time serves an incredibly important role in the community.

7 Roni B.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I joined this volunteer Board earlier this year and am excited about all the great things we do in support of children who don't have a voice. As a Mom and Grandmother, I know how important it is to have someone in your corner supporting you and showing you through actions that every child is beautiful, smart and deserves the opportunity to be loved and the freedom to be a child. Children who are in need of a CASA, need someone to advocate for them and let them know they are important, beautiful and smart. What you receive in return for your efforts is priceless. Won't you consider making a difference in a child's life? Thank you for your consideration!

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a CASA for about three years. We work one-on-one with children who are wards of the court. It is extremely rewarding and enriching work. We CASA's get tremendous support from the
CASA organization. It is so important for these children to have an advocate. They often do not have capable parents or adults in their lives. The organization is well respected by all the professionals who work on these cases; judges, lawyers, and social workers, among others. This is a great organization!

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I became a CASA this past February and it has been very rewarding. The staff and volunteers at the Sonoma County CASA are wonderful! I get great support and never feel like I am doing this alone! I am honored that I am able to serve my community this way.

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have just finished my first year as a CASA. Their offices offer many educational seminars for us to learn about what Sonoma County has to offer our CASA children developmentally and educationally - right through Sonoma Junior College. No matter what my question may be, there is someone willing to research the answer and get back to me right away. Every single CASA employee is devoted and has decades of experience working with children and Human Services. I am honored to be a part of all they do for children. It's really been a joy for me.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I have been a CASA since 2005. I have found it to be one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. As a single parent of two amazing sons for the last 17 years- I know the importance of not only love and attention, but guidance and example for children. It has been an honor to be part of such an important organization. Being a CASA has given me a chance to see the "other side" of children's lives, the trauma, the sadness as well as the hope these kids face.

My cases have all been very different. The one thing they have in common is the need for their voices to be heard. The need for a path to follow, and light at the end of sometimes a bleak tunnel.

I have enjoyed the interaction with not only the children, and the other CASA volunteers, but also the benefits and the immeasurable support from my CASA office. Millie and the office are extremely helpful - and provide all of us the amount of encouragement and information needed to be the best CASA's we can be.

I will continue my role as a CASA for as long as needed with the children of Sonoma County. Making sure they are safe happy and healthy as well as productive in life is paramount in shaping the next generation.

Danyea Tylman

7

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a Volunteer for CASA since 2000. I have had the honor of being an Advocate for three sets of siblings. Even though they are no longer part of the CASA program, I keep in touch and watch as they grow and experience the wonders of life. With the support of Volunteers and the friendships that come from the dedicated workers at CASA we all can make a positive change in the lives of the children in CPS and foster care. I feel CASA and these children have done more for me than what I could ever do for them. Thank you CASA for all your great works and I look forward to continuing to do my best for these children.

7

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

There is no more noble cause or pressing need for the trained volunteers which CASA helps to place with youth who are in foster care or for some reason are involved in the juvenile justice system.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a CASA since early 2009. The training I received before being matched with my foster girl was exceptional. My assigned youth is now a young woman with a great job whom I still see regularly. She often says she would be "nowhere" without the CASA program and its support. I look forward to continuing to work with his amazing organization.

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8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a CASA since early 2009. The training I received before being matched with my foster was exceptional. My assigned youth is now a 21 year old young lady with an apartment, a car and a job with health benefits. She freely admits she would be "nowhere" without the CASA program and its support. I look forward to continuing to work with his amazing organization.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with and supporting the CASA organization in Sonoma County for about 10 years. I have the most respect and admiration of the work that CASA takes on to work with the Court system to represent children who have no other advocate when they are separated from their families. CASA boosts the confidence of the youngest of this displaced population and provides guidance through the labyrinth of the system to make their lives meaningful and positive -- and eventually to a successful independence. I can't speak enough of the great positive impact that this particular organization i.e. CASA/Sonoma County has had on the community and lives of so many children.

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8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with the CASA organization in Sonoma County for about 10 years. I was trained to serve as an Advocate, served as a Board Member, and assisted in planning Annual Fund Raisers for the organization. During that time, I consistently became more & more aware of the great need, not only in our community, but nationwide, for support of the great numbers of children who are without a permanent family life. CASA provides a great asset to the Court System by providing one on one advocacy for each child - both within the Court System and all aspects of the child's Life -- living environment, health, education, and well being. CASA also provides assistance for the transition of the child out of the System and into the World. Sonoma County CASA Director, Millie Gilson, is miraculous in making certain that no detail is missed, that services are provided as required, and go beyond to provide inclusion of children to share their amazing progress that can be accomplished with support and encouragement from CASA and their community.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

CASA is the most amazing program for youth. This program gives a voice to those that cannot speak on their behalf. This program has truly changed my life and I hope the live of multiple youth. I would recommend this program to anyone that wants to make a difference. Youth are the future of our society and they should be nurtured and guided in order to be successful adults and make this world a better place for us all.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a CASA for over five years. The work CASA a is doing for children in the foster care system in Sonoma County changes lives. It has certainly changed mine. It is a commitment of time and effort but also of heart and soul. To be the one person in my youth's life who is consistent, dependable, and supportive gives me real joy. CASA of Sonoma County is an outstanding nonprofit organization!

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4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have proudly served as a CASA for the past three years. During this time I have had the privilege to support three different girls in the foster care system. These are children with amazing stories of resilience but for whom childhood has been accompanied with much pain and loss. We at CASA aim to be part of a safety net which provides another responsible, caring adult in the lives of children. More than anything, we "show up". We provide nurturing, expanding experiences and broad shoulders to help lessen the load.We set an example as a consistent, responsible adult. We advocate at every turn on behalf of our youth. We listen. While being a CASA can present many challenges, the rewards that can at times be small and slow in coming, are HUGE. I know from experience that what we do, the support we provide, is changing lives. CASA Jill E

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have had the pleasure of knowing the Executive Director for over 15 years. This organization does an amazing job of advocating for foster youth in ways that truly make a difference. I highly recommend supporting this worthy program.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have just finished the 40 hour CASA training and recently received my assignment. During the training and the tours of various facilities I received comprehensive, invaluable information. The presenters were clearly dedicated to their work with our County's youth and families. Likewise, they are committed to having CASAs as equal members of the professional team. I feel valued and respected already, and I have just begun this journey! CASA of Sonoma County appears to be a cohesive and knowledgable organization. As a former director of volunteer services in a large medical center, I am very impressed with the quality of staff support and leadership for its volunteers.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization does something really important for one child at a time. Each child with a volunteer CASA has an adult who will stay with the child from the time assigned till the child leaves the legal supervision of the county legal system. The CASA can make a difference that that child's life that can last a lifetime. How rewarding this can be.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The CASA youth stands alone because of circumstances and in order to survive. Most accumulate multiple addresses and schools plus revolving professional staff members throughout their young lives. Only their CASA is a constant.

My hope for my CASA boys was that one day, no matter how distant, they would know that someone cared about them. Although I have retired, their names are still posted on my dashboard because I still care.

Peter C. Grauert

3 MaryAnn W

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer I have always been impressed with the dedication, and team efforts made by the executive director, office staff, and volunteers in helping children in the community.
CASA strives to improve the lives of children that are in need, someone to be there for them where vacancies have often been left, and hardships have been handed out.
After moving to Sonoma County I was talking to a family member, telling them I wanted to volunteer, and they recommended CASA to me. They had heard great things about CASA, and told me to "check it out", I did my homework, and feel I made the best choice........great place to volunteer

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was a CASA volunteer and am currently a Board member. The CASA volunteer is a screened, trained & dedicated person helping kids in need of an adult role model. The kids have been removed from their parents and need help in dealing with social workers, teachers, attorneys, etc. The CASA can be the constant in the child's life. CASA is a very worthwhile non-profit.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered for CASA for eight years, the most rewarding work I have ever done. The Foster kids appreciated what I did for them, even the little things. Yes, I helped make a difference in their lives, but I got even more back from the experience. To take on a child that didn't know what a good adult in their lives looked like, and gain their trust was amazing. To show up at a group home, and to be considered a "rock star" just for being a CASA were big shoes to fill. If you have the time in your life, I recommend getting involved. The agency does a great job training and supporting you. Not an easy volunteer job, but if you want to make a huge difference, this is the gig.