Testimonials

Being a CASA Advocate...
Having a CASA...
Being a Client of Juvenile Court...

Jan Carr, Adoptive Parent
Phillip Crandall, Director, Humboldt County Dept. of Social Services Gena Rae Eichenberg, Attorney at Law
Terry Farmer, Former Humboldt County District Attorney
Tracy Herrin, Attorney at Law
David L. Lehman, Former Chief Probation Officer, Humboldt County
Dennis H. Lewis, Former Sheriff, Humboldt County
Ann Lindsay, M.D.
Arnold L. Millsap, Chief of Police, Eureka Police Department (ret)
Mary J. Risling, Former Directing Attorney, California Indian Legal Services
Lisa Spinas, Social Worker
Robert G. Wade, Former Deputy District Attorney, Humboldt County
The Honorable W. Bruce Watson, Superior Court Judge, Humboldt County
The Honorable Christopher G. Wilson, Superior Court Judge, Humboldt County

"I've seen children uprooted from houses again and again and again. When it's the same child uprooted from multiple houses, you start to see this phenomenon where they have their bag packed all the time. They tell the two or three people that are currently in their life that they can't go to the next house without their journal or without their teddy bear or without their blanket. So that, because they're expecting to get moved again, they're protecting themselves in that way. And I've seen CASA advocates who make that transition a lot smoother or who can relate to people who are making choices for kids about placement, visitation, therapy, medicine, and all those types of decisions. The CASA advocate can relay all the necessary information to the people who are making the decisions to try to make it a little bit smoother."

Tracy Herrin, Attorney at Law


"CASA is crucial to a child who has been removed from his or her home, crucial and sometimes just in a simple way. I remember when one of my little boys was about six (before I adopted him), and not only were the first five years of his life very traumatic, but then he was uprooted from his family and placed in foster care. His brother was in the hospital; he'd been injured. So, my little boy was really alone in the world, and his CASA was a wonderful man. He was an older retired man, and my little boy would await Jerry coming. Once a week they would do things as simple as go to Pierson's and watch the big gold fish. Just taking him out of all of the craziness that goes along with court and foster care and visiting your birth parents and not knowing what's going to happen.... It was so important, and I'm really thankful that he had Jerry."

Jan Carr, Adoptive Parent


"CASA can provide stability to a child in foster care. They can go through so many changes as far as different social workers, maybe different counselors, different foster homes: you know, family members coming in and out of their lives. The CASA will hopefully be that person who can be with them as they travel through the system. I think the kids I work with really look forward to seeing their CASA. It's a fun thing to have a CASA; they get excited about it! It's something a lot of them ask for. I know they like spending time with their CASA. That's sort of a ray of sunshine to them. A CASA is someone that they're really close to."

"I think CASA can help give a voice to a child in some ways: in meetings where it might be hard for a child to talk or express what they want or need. CASA can help them do that either by just being there as a support person to them or just talking with them before to hear what their point of view is and bringing that up during the meeting. So, I think that's a strength that CASA has."

Lisa Spinas, Social Worker


"As a general matter, allow me to acknowledge and commend your efforts to reach out to the tribes and Indian communities located within your service area... Accordingly, a project that will bring increased resources and collaborative approaches to addressing and safeguarding the needs of Indian children, is critically needed. You, and the County of Humboldt are to be commended for prioritizing this project as a block grant submission."

Mary J. Risling, Former Directing Attorney, California Indian Legal Services


"It has been my privilege to work with the committed people of Humboldt/Del Norte CASA. I served on the founding board of directors and have long been a supporter of their program. The organization and its dedicated volunteers have been an effective voice for dependent children on the north coast. CASA improves the ability of abused and neglected children to succeed in the foster care system."

Terry Farmer, Former Humboldt County District Attorney


"It is with pleasure that I support Humboldt/Del Norte CASA. Over the years this agency has been the bright light at the end of a very dark tunnel for children who have been abused or neglected. CASA's volunteers not only advocate for children in court, but access services, provide information to the court and generally offer a safe port for those attempting to navigate the stormy waters of a system in which they have been thrust through no fault of their own. For children who are used to chaos, a CASA volunteer is truly a blessing."

Gena Rae Eichenberg, Attorney at Law


"We are fortunate to have a dedicated and effective CASA program in our community. Our local CASA organization is considered a role model for other like organizations. It is difficult to place a value on the service the children of our community receive from our CASA advocates. The result of having CASA volunteers is a higher degree of reliable information resulting in better outcomes for children. To this end CASA advocates have been absolutely invaluable and I am pleased to express my support."

The Honorable Christopher G. Wilson, Superior Court Judge, Humboldt County


"The Child Abuse Services Team provides forensic interviews of children who may be victims of physical or sexual abuse. CASA is among the agencies which participate in our program, and together we are breaking ground in the investigation of, response to, and prevention of child abuse. CASA provides an important service to the children in our community by acting as advocates and representatives. It is with pleasure that CAST lends its support to CASA."

Robert G. Wade, Former Deputy District Attorney, Humboldt County


"The Humboldt County Probation Department supports the Humboldt/Del Norte CASA program. Older children in foster care require the support and help of CASA workers if they are to be successful. The Probation Department works closely with CASA to make sure the services are coordinated and the children get the assistance they need."

David L. Lehman, Former Chief Probation Officer, Humboldt County


"Child Welfare Services has worked closely with CASA since it began in Humboldt County in 1991 and supports its program. It is important for all concerned with the care and protection of children have the resources to meet the increasing needs of families and children at risk."

Phillip R. Crandall, Director, Humboldt County Dept. of Health and Human Services


"CASA is a very important organization in our community, providing case supervision, case management, and overall support for children involved in court proceedings. Their services have been invaluable to a number of our Public Health nursing clients, as well as on several occasions to patients from my private family practice. Their services allow children the best chance of being successes in the foster care system."

Ann Lindsay, M.D.


"This organization has historically been successful in its efforts on behalf of children in our community who are innocent victims found within the criminal justice and family law systems. They have proven themselves invaluable time and again in their advocacy of children. It is encouraging to know that a segment of our citizens, the children, who, up until CASA, had very little representation or say so in their own lives, are now finding a voice on their behalf by way of the CASA volunteers. We wish for CASA to continue and enlarge its sphere of support for the children of this community."

Arnold L. Millsap, Former Chief of Police, Eureka Police Department 



"CASA is a program that grew out of a perceived need, a trusted adult friend, mentor, advocate for children in the court system. As a former public defender, representing children before the CASA program was formed, I saw first hand a need for the CASA advocate. There was an unfilled role that neither myself as counsel, the social worker, probation officer, nor foster parent could meet. The trusted friend, confidant of the child who only has the best interest of the child at heart, can report the child's needs to the court. As a judge I truly value and respect the information from the CASA advocate when I make decisions affecting, perhaps lifelong, the welfare of a child."

The Honorable W. Bruce Watson, Superior Court Judge, Humboldt County


"I would like to express our strong support for CASA's work as court appointed special advocates for youth within our community. CASA volunteers provide a great service to youth caught up as innocent victims in our criminal justice and family law systems. We strongly believe that CASA's quality services to children in our foster care system give these children a better chance of becoming foster care system successes."

Dennis H. Lewis, Former Sheriff, Humboldt County


Being a CASA Advocate...

"I think the most important thing about CASA for me as a volunteer is that I get to be a consistent source of support for my CASA kid. Kids in the Child Welfare System move between homes, they change schools, they have often been taken out of their parents' home to begin with, and they might live in shelters or group homes or foster homes. Things in their lives are changing dramatically all the time. These kids have people in their lives that I as a kid didn't have in my life. They are dealing with things that most of us don't deal with and those professionals come in and out of their lives all the time. Social workers change, attorneys change, and sometimes this can go on for years and years before a case is resolved. So, for me, I get to be the one person in my CASA kid's life, who's there visiting every week, or, if not, at least giving a phone call regularly and staying in touch, regardless of where these kids move and what else happens in their lives. And I think that's really critical for all kids and especially for kids who are in a state of crisis with their families. It's not really uncommon for CASA kids to move between shelters and group homes and foster homes several times in a year. So their whole lives are uprooted. They have to go make a new set of friends, attend a new school, and everything changes for these kids constantly, sometimes on just a couple days' notice. So, I think the real value of a CASA volunteer is that that person makes a commitment to be with you as your friend until your case is resolved."

CASA Advocate


"One of the things I found surprising is the judicial system, and I've been doing it long enough now where I know a lot of the lawyers, a lot of the social workers. And for the most part, my experience is that they listen to you. And that surprised me....Mom's got a lawyer. The lawyer doesn't know Mom. Dad's got a lawyer. The lawyer doesn't know anything about Dad and is looking for the file case on Dad. And then the child's lawyer is doing whatever she's doing or he's doing. And you suddenly discover that you're in a room where literally you know the child better than anybody else does. And, they listen to you. They listen to what it is that you think or what it is that you have to say in advocating for the child. That was a big surprise."

CASA Advocate


"I have been with my current CASA child for fifteen months. In that time, change has been one of the only constants in her life. She has had four social workers, two attorneys and has lived in five different homes."As a CASA advocate it has been a privilege to be part of this child's life. It feels good knowing that no matter what changes occur in her life, she can depend on me."

CASA Advocate

Having a CASA...

"My first interaction with CASA was in second grade. I was living with my grandmother, and they were trying to reunite me with my mother. So, CASA got involved as something stable in my life. So, at my first meeting she asked me if I would like ice cream, and of course it was my favorite thing in the world. So, every week (I don't remember her ever missing a week) we would go eat ice cream or go to the park. And she was the one constant as I went through different foster homes and group homes. She was always there and provided that sense that someone believed in me and hoped for my future and just the consistency really showered me with attention and what I needed."

CASA Child


"I think I would have been lost {without a CASA), because if I hadn't had a CASA, I would have had no one guiding me and helping me try to find my direction. She made sure that I had a plan, that I was going to be successful and get out of the cycle. Basically, there wasn't any other option than to be focused in school and get that done and have my life in order. She made sure that I acquired all the skills that I had missed about hygiene and social skills and made sure that I really considered college. And that was something that was on my wish list. And I caught up in school and made it. She pushed me through."

CASA Child


"I had a fairly mild situation. {My two brothers and I} were in just a single foster home. But, at times, even though I was not moving, we had social workers changing. We had case workers changing. We had different children coming in and out of the house. There was room for six children. So, there were three alternating at any given time. Sometimes, it was one at a time. Sometimes, it would be three new ones in one day. So, it all just depended on what was going on. And with all those changes it was still the same CASA worker, which was nice because it was a chance to just relax and have things feel normal again."

CASA Child


"When the {CASA} shows up, and they want to be there, and they have that joy in their face....I was so anxious to see her every week. I looked forward to it every single week. The day that I knew I was going to see her after school, that day was like the best day."

CASA Child


"First of all, being in foster care at any age is hard. But my CASA has made a big difference to me. Knowing that you have a CASA means you can call and ask questions about something in court, your care or anything else. It can make you feel better about things. My CASA and I spend some time together. Even though it's not a lot of time, we make it quality time. I don't consider my CASA worker just CASA worker. I consider her a friend that I will have after foster care."

CASA Child


"I like CASA because I really have someone to talk to and someone I can put trust in. CASA has helped me conquer many things I couldn't conquer on my own. I think you should become a CASA if you want to make a positive difference in a needy person's life."

CASA Child

Being a Client of Juvenile Court...

"I lost my first child to adoption and covered the pain with drugs. My second child was taken from me at birth and placed in foster care. I learned from my experience with my first child. With my second child I went to a clean and sober house and enrolled in a treatment program. I didn't want my child to grow up as an addict. I had to prove I could be a good mother. At first I didn't know what CASA was. CASA helped me learn what was necessary for my child. CASA would work with me to make progress as a friend helping me keep it together. CASA saw me working with my child being responsible. I would talk to CASA more than anybody else. I felt relaxed with her. I realized CASA wasn't against me. I had to prove to CASA I was working for my child by taking care of my issues. CASA was there to help me be together with my child. Soon I could let my guard down. I love CASA. CASA looked into where my child was placed in foster care and looked deeper into it than anybody and found out what was really going on in placement. CASA pushed the issue so that I could establish a healthy bond with my child. CASA was the 'hit' of my case. CASA saw my progress and helped me stand up for myself. CASA has been my world. I will miss them. CASA is a lot more than a voice in court- they protect your baby."

Client of Juvenile Court