New class of CASA volunteers sworn in to serve children
The 27th graduating class for the Court Appointed Special Advocates of Merced County was sworn in by the honorable Judge Donald J. Proietti on Dec. 5 inside of the Merced County Juvenile Dependency Courtroom.
Founded in 2010 to provide advocates that ensure that the best interests of abused and neglected children within the court system are always abided by, CASA provides each new group of volunteers with extensive training.
Over the course of 30 hours of instruction, trainees take an in-depth look into what their role as a CASA volunteer will entail, the law, the child protection system, the court system, cultural norms of various groups, family dynamics, the dynamics of children, how to communicate as a CASA volunteer, how to properly gather and document information, writing reports for the courts, monitoring a case, and finally practicing their future role with CASA.
The most recent members of the CASA leadership board to be sworn include: John Carlisle and Edith Ramirez. The board members were sworn in alongside of the largest class of CASA graduates, including: Albert Barreno, Danielle Borland, Kimberly Cano, Corey Cheeks, Andrea Coble, Katelyn Colbert, Juan Diaz, Paola Garcia, Debra Legg, Emily Martinez, Cindy Merino, Namkha Nguyen, Elizabeth Sierra, Alane Quien, Vilma Reynosa, Sandie Sevilla, Krishneel Sharma, Stacey Stavrianoudakis, David Tallbott, and Lesly Villa.
Through their dedicated work, CASA staff members are able to achieve their organizational goals by having volunteer advocates work alongside of key agencies, legal counsel and community resources to protect and insure each foster child’s right to a safe environment and, as many of them are no longer able to be returned to their parents and are waiting for adoption, a permanent and supportive home.