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Riverside volunteers needed for foster care advocacy in 2024

Launching its 'Your Voice, Their Future' campaign, Voices for Children is urging Riverside community members to step up as advocates for children navigating the foster care system.

A Voices for Children volunteer advocates for foster children (Courtesy Voices for Children).

Voices for Children, an organization dedicated to supporting children in foster care, announced its annual "Your Voice, Their Future" campaign, seeking volunteers to serve as Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) in Riverside County. The campaign is addressing the needs of approximately 4,500 children expected to be in foster care this year due to abuse or neglect.

CASAs play a crucial role in the lives of children in foster care, providing them with a consistent adult presence during court proceedings and transitions to new homes and schools. Volunteers for Voices for Children, which operates in both San Diego and Riverside Counties, are trained to understand and advocate for the needs of these children.

The campaign, running until May 1, coinciding with National Foster Care Awareness Month, seeks to recruit new volunteers to support 150 local youth currently waiting for CASA services. Last year, Voices for Children paired 204 children in San Diego and Riverside Counties with advocates.

Voices for Children emphasizes the need for volunteers from diverse backgrounds, including male and Spanish-speaking advocates, to better represent the diverse needs of children in foster care. These volunteers form relationships with the children and familiarize themselves with key figures in their lives, including parents, teachers, and therapists, to make informed recommendations to the court.

Potential volunteers are invited to learn more about becoming a CASA volunteer by attending an informational session; six are scheduled through the end of February.