• CASA: October 2020 Monthly Newsletter

    Usually at this time of year we see a spike in the number of requests for help related to “back to school” things like backpacks, school supplies, back to school clothes. This year is anything but typical, and returning to school this fall brought added stress due to the COVID-19 pandemic and anxiety about returning to school, whether in-person or virtually. It’s hard to know what is needed most during this time of transition. This situation is certainly difficult for all families, but for children and families in the child welfare system and those who are already under-resourced, going “back to school” this fall has created new challenges.

    We are here for the challenges.

    CASA volunteers provide a source of support and stability for hundreds of children in Santa Barbara County as they advocate for the best interests of the child, including the child’s educational, medical, and mental health needs. By building relationships with everyone who has a hand in the child’s education—parents, foster parents, teachers, social workers, school counselors and others—volunteers provide critical insights that can have a direct impact on a child’s life.
    Children in foster care often face additional educational challenges and are more likely to fall behind in school. During the pandemic, children have had to try to adapt to distance learning, and for many, it’s just not working very well. However, CASA volunteers help improve school outcomes by recommending resources, tools and services to keep the child on track.

    Through their persistence and dedication, CASA volunteers listen, solve problems and eliminate obstacles. These actions are especially crucial this year, when children and families are faced with unforeseen circumstances brought on by the pandemic. By advocating for solutions that address issues with virtual learning, CASA volunteers ensure that the children they work with have access to the resources they need to learn effectively.

    Every child deserves a quality education and the opportunity to learn and grow as a student, and most importantly they deserve a safe and stable home environment. Reporting directly to the court, CASA volunteers help to make sure that children have what they need.

    As we greet October with the determination to tackle challenges as they are presented, I am grateful for your commitment to our shared vision that every child is given the opportunity to thrive. Thank you for your support of our work advocating for our community’s children who have suffered the trauma of abuse and neglect.

    Yours in advocacy,
    Kim Colby Davis
    Executive Director
    CASA for Children of Santa Barbara County