Community Resilience Project
Celebrating Foster Care Awareness Month
When: May 19, 2021, 6 p.m.
The Library's Community Resilience Project, in partnership with CASA and Santa Cruz County child welfare professionals, returns to celebrate Foster Care Awareness Month in May. Join Jimmy Cook, Program Director of CASA and Najeeb Kamil, Senior Human Services Analyst from Santa Cruz County Families and Children's Services (Child Welfare), for a discussion about the child welfare system and the need for foster parents in Santa Cruz County to support teens and older youth. Panelists include former foster youth, a CASA volunteer, a foster parent, the Honorable Judge Timothy Schmal, and professionals working with foster care youth in Santa Cruz County.
Participants will hear from youth who had experience in the foster care system and learn more about the role of Child Welfare and of judges. You’ll learn how you can be an advocate for foster care youth and come away with a better understanding of the Foster Care system, Santa Cruz County child welfare, and CASA volunteerism.
Learn more about CASA and Child Welfare at: https://santacruzhumanservices.org/SantaCruzFoster
From the CASA website: Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) are community volunteers who work one-on-one with children and youth in the foster care system. CASA volunteers devote a few hours a week getting to know one child and gathering information from everyone involved in the child's life. Volunteers are part of a team that works for the best interests of the child. CASA of Santa Cruz County recruits, screens, trains, matches, and supervises these volunteer Advocates to be the voice of our community's youth in the Dependency Court System. Advocates get to know their child’s situation and needs, help caregivers access resources to meet those needs, and advocate for the child’s best interests in Court, community, and school settings.
From the Santa Cruz County Family and Children's Services website: Family and Children's Services provides services to children who have been abused, neglected, or who are at risk of abuse or neglect. Child welfare services focus on child safety, child and family well-being, and permanent homes for children. Our first priority is always to keep children safely in their own homes with their parents. If that is not possible, children are placed in foster or relative caregiver homes until their own families can care for them again or they are placed for adoption. We work collaboratively with many local agencies and community partners to support and strengthen families and keep children safe in Santa Cruz County.
About SCPL Community Resilience Project: We recognize that the current health crisis has exemplified societal shortcomings and we hope to support positive social change and see our community come out of this pandemic stronger than before. We have hosted various community discussions focusing on relevant pressing issues, moderated by community leaders, with a panel of educators, activists, local officials, artists, service providers, and other community members with expertise on the issue at hand.
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When: May 19, 2021, 6 p.m.