Jan 13, 2015 7:43 PM by Charlene Cheng
Since Judge Matthew McGlynn was elected to the Tehama County Superior Couty at the start of 2013, he's worked towards providing a voice for foster children.
"I'm very passionate about juvenile court and helping families and protecting children, so anything that we can do as a community, I'm definitely in favor of, and I know that CASA works and that's why I wanted to get it started in Tehama County," he said.
CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates.
And last week, Judge McGlynn's dream was realized when he swore in ten volunteers as the county's inaugural class.
"They're assigned as their court advocate. They provide a voice for the children through the court process, they support them, help them understand what's going on, and advocate for services," said Pam Hubbard, a program coordinator for CASA.
This was a much-needed service in Tehama County, where 200 children are estimated to be in the foster care system.
"Bottom line is that we would like to service 20% of the children here in care in Tehama County," added Hubbard.
That's the average that other counties are able to take on.
The program has already shown success in both Shasta and Butte counties.
"Research shows over time that children reach permanency sooner with a CASA. They receive more services and they're less likely to reenter the dependency system," Hubbard said.
Foster children are assigned attorneys and a variety of social workers, but few adults in their lives stay constant as they work their way through the court system.
"The CASAs are volunteers, people who are coming in with no monetary consideration, and I think that sends a strong message to the children," Judge McGlynn said.
If you're interested in volunteering, you can find out more on Northern Valley Catholic Social Service's website.