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Valley Needs More CASA Volunteers To Advocate For Foster Youth

Laura Tsutsui
Valley Public Radio
Clockwise from back left: Jason Williams with CASA and advocates Kaleena Goodman, Robert Clark, and Windie Shepherd in the Valley Public Radio studios.

Across Fresno and Madera Counties, about 2,600 kids are currently in foster care. Although foster parents, attorneys, social workers and judges work together to move cases through the court system, some needs fall through the cracks. An organization called CASA connects foster youth with volunteers to try to make sure that doesn't happen. The volunteers are also known as CASAs, which stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates. But the organization argues there aren’t nearly enough volunteers to fill the need.


Listen to the panel above to hear Jason Williams from CASA, and three advocates - Windie Shepherd, Robert Clark, and Kaleena Goodman - explain what they've experienced working with foster youth over the last few years.


For those interested in becoming advocates, there’s a training coming up in October, and information can be found at CASAFresnoMadera.org.

Laura Tsutsui was a reporter and producer for Valley Public Radio. She joined the station in 2017 as a news intern, and later worked as a production assistant and weekend host. Laura covered local issues ranging from politics to housing, and produced the weekly news program Valley Edition. She left the station in November 2020.
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