About CASA of Ventura County
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Ventura County recruits, screens, trains, and supports volunteers who advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected court-dependent children in courtrooms and communities. CASA believes that every court-dependent abused or neglected child should be safe, have permanence and the opportunity to thrive, and have a strong, compassionate volunteer Advocate (called “a CASA”).
Every child or young adult (18-21) who enters the juvenile dependency system in Ventura County is appointed to the CASA of Ventura County program by the presiding judge with a priority ranking system. Once a CASA volunteer has been screened and trained, they are presented with cases of children currently on our wait list and assigned to one of those children based on highest need. The CASA volunteer then spends 10-15 hours per month working on the case, which not only includes building a one-on-one relationship with the child, but also collaborating with the child’s social worker, legal representative and others who can offer insight into the well-being of the child, which may include relatives, parents, caregiver, school officials, health providers and others.
CASA originated in Washington State in 1977. In 1983, a Ventura County public defender brought the concept of CASA to the attention of the Dependency Court. Concern was mounting over the frequent changes of caregivers and service providers that were involved in foster children's lives, as well as the negative impact of these changes on them. In 1985 CASA of Ventura County was established, and the first Ventura County CASAs were sworn in as officers of the court. In 2011, CASA emerged from under the umbrella of its host organization to become a fully independent, 501(c)(3) organization. Today, CASA-VC serves over 325 children utilizing a network of volunteers and peer coordinators comprising 250 adults.
General position areas of responsibility
The Executive Director is the Chief Executive Officer of CASA of Ventura County. The ED reports to the Board of Directors and is responsible for the organization's consistent achievement of its mission and financial objectives, The ED serves as the leader and primary spokesperson for the organization. The position identifies and pursues strategic opportunities to increase the profile of CASA among current and potential funders and partners (corporations and grant entities) and policy makers. The ED monitors fiscal processes, resource development and grants administration, and facilitates opportunities for program growth and development. The ED directs and supervises all staff and Peer Coordinators, monitors and evaluates the agency program results for compliance with national and state standards and protocols, and provides technical assistance to the Board of Directors in fulfilling its governance function.