CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) is a national, nonprofit organization that focuses on volunteer advocacy for abused and neglected children. CASA is a cross- country, network of more than 950 community-based programs and 93,000 CASA and GAL (guardian ad litem) volunteers. Together, these agencies serve more than 270,000 children during their time in foster care.
CASA of Mariposa County is one of these community-based programs. Founded as an independent 501(c)3 in 2004, CASA has served over 200 youth in Mariposa County and has trained more than 75 local, volunteer Advocates.
Every Advocate is trained by professional staff to:
Advocates are appointed to a case by the Mariposa Superior Court*. Once assigned a case, Advocates work with a child or sibling group throughout their time in foster care. Since 2015, CASA of Mariposa County has provided Advocates to youth in the juvenile delinquency system.
In 2016, CASA of Mariposa County expanded their programming to incorporate more services supporting the needs of the community. CASA created a respite program called RECESS. RECESS provides regularly scheduled childcare for families that are caring for children who’ve experienced abuse, neglect, domestic violence, and other difficult circumstances. This added support gives caregivers a break to relax, do errands, or whatever else they need to continue to provide a safe and loving home for the children in their care.
During the same year, CASA of Mariposa County received a grant from the county to host an education support group for resource families. Nourish is a once month class that offers free catered dinner, childcare, and training to any foster, adoptive, guardian families in Mariposa County. Attendees have the opportunity to relax, learn, and be in the company of other caretakers.
In 2017, CASA of Mariposa County created the Little Wishes Fund. Supported exclusively by generous community members, the Little Wishes Fund was created to help youth in ways that CASA’s grants can’t. It was originally designed to alleviate the costs needed for kids to participate extracurricular activities such as horseback riding, dance, team sports, or art lessons. Since then, this fund has expanded to cover needs of new shoes, jackets, or other crucial staples for CASA’s youth.
2017 was also the first year for CASA’s community fundraiser, the Summer Fun Street Fair. This annual event is a celebration of Mariposa featuring all local restaurants, drinks, vendors, bands, and businesses. When attendees shop at local vendor booths or Downtown Business Partner locations, a small portion of the proceeds are donated to CASA of Mariposa County. By supporting tiny business participants are supporting CASA of Mariposa County and their efforts to advocate for children and youth!
CASA will continue to seek ways to bring positive change and innovation to Mariposa to better the lives of the youth who call this place home.
*CASA of Mariposa County operates under the authority of, and according to guidelines established by, the Judicial Council of California and local rules of court.
Since 2014, CASA of Mariposa County has operated under the administrative umbrella of the Alliance for Community Transformations, a 501(c)3 non-profit. The Alliance provides responsive and preventative services to individuals and families, and works through partnerships and collective action to create truly safe, healthy and socially just communities where every member thrives.
The Alliance for Community Transformations is comprised of six agencies based in Mariposa and Merced Counties. CASA of Mariposa County is proud to be in partnership with Mountain Crisis Services, Valley Crisis Center, Ethos Youth Center, Mariposa Heritage House, and Connections.
CASA of Mariposa County is a Guide Star USA Exchange Participant under the Alliance for Community Transformations, as a symbol of our commitment to transparency and accountability.
To View the Alliance for Community Transformations Federal Tax Return: https://www.guidestar.org/profile/77-0272319