News/Events

CASA Campaign Supported by Clark County Supporters

February 12, 2020

Clark County CASA Program Sets New Direction

When a critical funding source dries up for a nonprofit, filling the funding gap can sometimes take years and erode the nonprofit’s mission.  And then we have the case of Clark County CASA–Court Appointed Special Advocates.

Notified that a major federal grant would not be renewed last summer, CASA (a program of YWCA Clark County) turned to its community for help. The result: a highly successful fundraising campaign that actually leaves CASA in a solid position for 2020. The organization needed to fill a funding gap that represented 20% of its budget when the federal Victims of Criminal Acts (VOCA) grant was not renewed for the fiscal 2019/2020 year. The VOCA grant funded staff positions whose role, in part, was to advocate for children who came into the care of the state. The national model, based on extensive research, builds the advocacy teams around volunteers rather than staff members.

CASA adopted a three-pronged approach to raise the necessary dollars that, at the same time, brought the program more closely in line with the National CASA model. CASA appealed to the community, to National CASA, and to Clark County for support in its restructuring initiative. Their appeal got results:

  • $60,000 was raised through community support in the form of individual and corporate donations.
  • $58,000 was contributed by National CASA focused on volunteer recruitment.
  • $128,000 was approved by the Clark County Council to be added to the 2020 contract for CASA services.

“We are so grateful for the generosity demonstrated by all our partners as we take this organization to a new level of advocacy for children,” said Sheryl Thierry, CASA program director. “The CASA program staff and volunteers work tirelessly in their advocacy for abused and neglected children in our community.  The recognition of their hard work, and the importance of CASA’s role in the dependency process, is greatly appreciated.”

Thierry said the additional funds from Clark County and National CASA were critical to strengthening CASA’s volunteer recruitment efforts, designed to boost the current roster of 130 volunteers to 200. CASAs advocated for 760 children in Clark County.

“Our ongoing appeal for 2020 is to consider becoming a CASA volunteer,” she said. “The right person can make a transformational difference in a child’s life. Meanwhile, we will continue our pursuit of sustainable funding sources, grants, and community support to keep the program strong and effective for years to come.”

For more information, contact Sheryl Thierry at 360-906-9141.

Meet A CASA!

February 5, 2020

Meet CASA Volunteer Sarah Theberge

My desire is that all children feel a strong sense of belonging and security at the youngest age possible!

What compels someone to volunteer as a CASA? We decided to highlight a volunteer a month so you can get to know a few of the many volunteers giving their time for children in our community.

Meet Sarah…

Why did you choose to volunteer your time for the CASA Program?

I chose to be a CASA volunteer because of my background in Early Learning.  I believe strongly that the foundation for secure attachments and learning begins in the early years and is influenced by parenting.  My desire is that all children feel a strong sense of belonging and security at the youngest age possible!

What do you find most rewarding about being a CASA volunteer?

The most rewarding aspect of volunteering for CASA is knowing that as an individual, I’m contributing to the bigger picture and all of these interactions done by all these volunteers strengthens our communities and the individual lives we get to work with.

How do you feel about the support the CASA Program provides to you as a volunteer?

As a volunteer of CASA, I’m never alone.  The program specialists support me in this work whenever I reach out and I believe the YWCA board supports the work being done by this branch of the organization.

What do you feel is your greatest contribution to the children you have served as a CASA volunteer?

My greatest contribution to the children I serve is my strong image of the child.  I believe children are competent and capable and can benefit from strategies designed to build their resiliency.  I find children fascinating, creative, delightful and deserving of advocacy by adults with their best interests at heart.

What would you say to someone who is considering volunteering with the CASA Program?

DO IT!  The rewards are great and you can develop a plan that fits your lifestyle and availability.  You will not regret this!

Thank you for sharing a bit of yourself with us Sarah!

In Case of Inclement Weather

January 13, 2020

With winter upon us, please note that in the case of inclement weather:

YWCA will operate consistent with Clark County office closures. If the Clark County offices are closed, the YWCA Community Office will be closed and volunteer training scheduled will be canceled.

To find out the latest closure status check the radio, TV news,
or the Internet http://www.flashalert.net/news.html?id=642.

January 8, 2020

We want to thank Fairway Coffee for hosting our 2nd Coffee with CASA event this past Saturday!  Owner and Managing Member Amy Bernash and her team at Fairway opened their doors and provided a large space for us to share more about CASA and our volunteer opportunities.  We felt very encouraged by the response from the community and her patrons and are in the process of welcoming some new volunteers to participate in our winter training cycle who attended the event!

If you were unable to make it to our event this past weekend but are interested in learning more about how you can become a volunteer over coffee please join us Saturday, February 1st at 10:45a.m. at Latte Da Coffee House and Wine Bar at 205 E 39th St. Vancouver, WA 98663 in their Garden Room.  Owner, Scott Flury  and his team have created a cozy environment that frequently holds neighborhood events and fundraisers for local non-profits including CASA!  We’ll have a carafe of coffee to share with those who approach us and want to learn more about our program and how to get involved as a volunteer.  We’re looking forward to reaching more of Clark County and expanding our presence and ability to further impact foster youth.

CASA Information Sessions

Clark County CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) is hosting multiple 1-hour informational sessions for interested volunteers or community members who want to learn more about the program.

  • Thursday, Feb. 13 at Noon
  • Tuesday, Feb. 18 at 6:00pm
  • Monday, March 2 at Noon
  • Tuesday, March 10 at 6:00pm

CASA volunteers advocate for the best interest of children who have come into the state’s care as a result of abuse, neglect, or abandonment. All are welcome to join us in the Community Room at YWCA, 3609 Main Street, Vancouver. You may also visits us at https://www.facebook.com/casaclarkcounty/ or email our Volunteer Specialist at kbenzel@ywcaclarkcounty.org.

The program’s vision is that volunteers from the community engage in the process to provide a unique perspective to the court about the child’s immediate needs and long-term permanency. Clark County CASA is a program of YWCA Clark County.

Upcoming CASA Information Sessions

December 11, 2019

Clark County CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) is hosting multiple 1-hour informational sessions for interested volunteers or community members who want to learn more about the program.

Monday January 6th at 12:00 noon

Monday January 6th at 6:00p.m.

Thursday February 13th at 12:00 noon

Tuesday February 18th at 6:00p.m.

CASA volunteers advocate for the best interest of children who have come into the state’s care as a result of abuse, neglect, or abandonment. All are welcome to join us in the Community Room at YWCA, 3609 Main Street, Vancouver. You may also visits us at https://www.facebook.com/events/527307104765411/ or email our Volunteer Specialist at kbenzel@ywcaclarkcounty.org.

The program’s vision is that volunteers from the community engage in the process to provide a unique perspective to the court about the child’s immediate needs and long-term permanency. Clark County CASA is a program of YWCA Clark County.

Coffee with CASA

December 9, 2019

This past weekend we held our first Coffee with CASA event at Paper Tiger Coffee Roasters!  Owners Kenny and Sue Fletcher opened their place of business to allow CASA to host a table and share more about our program and volunteer opportunities with their incoming patrons.  In addition to providing a welcoming space they also offered a drink special for those that showed an interest in becoming a CASA and took the opportunity to learn more about how they could impact a child’s life as a volunteer.  We are grateful for the opportunity to engage with our local community and thankful for Paper Tiger staff for supporting our mission to bring awareness to CASA.

If you were unable to make it to our event this past weekend but are interested in learning more about how you can become a volunteer over coffee please join us Saturday, January 4th at 9:00a.m. at Fairway Coffee at 11504 NE 119th St, Vancouver, WA 98662.  Amy Bernash, Owner and Managing Member and her team will host CASA and will also provide an incentive for patrons to engage with our CASA team over coffee.  We’re looking forward to reaching more of Clark County and expanding our presence and ability to further impact foster youth.

Upcoming CASA Information Sessions

November 19, 2019

Clark County CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) is hosting multiple 1-hour informational sessions for interested volunteers or community members who want to learn more about the program.

Wednesday December 2nd at 6:00p.m.

Tuesday December 10th at 12:00 noon

Monday January 6th at 12:00 noon

Monday January 6th at 6:00p.m.

CASA volunteers advocate for the best interest of children who have come into the state’s care as a result of abuse, neglect, or abandonment. All are welcome to join us in the Community Room at YWCA, 3609 Main Street, Vancouver. You may also visits us at https://www.facebook.com/events/527307104765411/ or email our Volunteer Specialist at kbenzel@ywcaclarkcounty.org.

The program’s vision is that volunteers from the community engage in the process to provide a unique perspective to the court about the child’s immediate needs and long-term permanency. Clark County CASA is a program of YWCA Clark County.

Welcome To Our New Volunteers!

November 9, 2019

On Thursday the 7th we were pleased to see nine new CASA volunteers sworn in!  This group from our community completed both CASA training and the YWCA core training required and are now ready to start representing the voice of a child in court.  They join our other 116 volunteers who are providing an invaluable service to the foster youth of Clark County.  As a program contracted to serve every youth that enters into the foster care system as a result of abuse or neglect we are reliant upon these amazing volunteers to help support our efforts in ensuring that each child is able to establish a safe and permanent home as quickly as possible.  Thank you for making a commitment to CASA and to these children!

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