Sandoval County CASA, a volunteer-driven 501(c )3 nonprofit organization, is committed to advocating for the best interest of every abused and neglected foster child within Sandoval and Valencia Counties.
We train, support, and supervise highly educated volunteer advocates from Sandoval and Valencia Counties to advocate for these children and to ensure that their needs don’t get lost in the overburdened legal system. Serving Sandoval County since 1998 and Valencia County since July 2016, Sandoval County CASA works with the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD), the 13th Judicial District Court, and numerous service providers to ensure the safety and well-being of all Sandoval County and Valencia County children.
HOW IT WORKS:
Local judges assign abuse or neglect cases to CASA volunteer advocates. Well trained CASA volunteer advocates thoroughly review documents and interview everyone, including the children, involved in the case. They submit reports and sometimes testify in court–giving their recommendations and providing important information that aids the judge in making an informed decision as to what would be in the child’s best interest. CASA advocates can be instrumental in assuring that a child or family receives services which the court has ordered—things like substance abuse counseling, speech and language testing, medical services, and family counseling. As long as the case is active, the CASA volunteer advocate monitors the situation and acts as a constant support for the child as they move through the maze of the child welfare system.
CASA volunteers help to ensure that the educational, emotional, medical, and practical needs of all children in foster care in Sandoval and Valencia Counties are met. CASA volunteer advocates offer children a stable adult influence that they can trust to be in their corner during lengthy, complex legal proceedings. Often the CASA volunteer remains the one constant person for a child that sees multiple foster placements, high social worker turnover, and an ever-changing parade of service providers. When taking on a case, the CASA advocate pledges to stay with that case from beginning to end—whether that means a 3-month or a 3-year commitment. Sometimes, a child literally grows up with a CASA by his or her side.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Become more informed: Call or email us! We’d be happy to answer all your questions.
Our goal is to have a highly trained and professionally supported CASA volunteer advocates appointed to every case and every child who needs one. This commitment provides value to the community, seen from many levels. Social workers and courts receive more information to hep them do their jobs more effectively. In court, children have an independent voice that is only concerned with their best interests. Families have someone trying to identify their strengths as well as their obstacles to progress. The community has CASA volunteers providing another set of ears and eyes for our most vulnerable children.
Better outcomes for children in foster care directly benefit the children and their families. Taxpayers also benefit substantially through support of our hospitals, treatment facilities, and jails–all places where victims of childhood abuse are disproportionately represented.
When the cycle of abuse is stopped, future generations have safer, more productive lives.