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Annual Report 2020

Dear Friends of CASA,

Looking back, we started the 2020 fiscal year with a sense of excitement. We had just finished a year having achieved the goal of serving every child in need, and we started the new fiscal year (July 2019) with no children on the waiting list for a CASA volunteer. Our dream of having volunteers trained and ready to serve as the need arose seemed within reach.

We could not have known what 2020 had in store for us – all of us!

Before the pandemic became part of our lives, we saw an increase in the number of children who came into the foster care system. The less talked about epidemics of Methamphetamine and Heroin abuse were drastically impacting local families, and sadly, it is the children who pay the highest price. At the end of 2019, we once again were managing a waiting list of nearly 100 children in need of a CASA.

Many of the children that came into care were infants, born addicted, and removed from their parents for their health and safety before leaving the hospital. Other children had to be removed from their homes when law enforcement or social services determined that they could not be safely cared for by parents suffering severe addiction. In some cases, we saw horrific instances of physical abuse, sexual abuse, and trafficked children.

Whatever their age, children removed from their home because of abuse or neglect face a frightening, profound unknown. Our job is to make sure they don’t face it alone.

In response to the increased need, we doubled our efforts to find more committed volunteers and added additional training classes.

And then – COVID-19.

All the fear, the concern for family, friends, and neighbors, and the shock of seeing empty shelves in our markets was something that most of us had not experienced in our lifetimes. We were truly all in it together. Using email newsletters, we increased our communication with you to let you know how we planned to manage the crisis and the impending safe at home order. We also improved communication with our volunteers. While we wanted to make sure that they knew we would be there to continue to support them, we were worried about them too as more than half of our volunteers are in the high-risk age group, and we wanted to do what we could to make sure they were safe.

During it all the children were the core concern for us all.

Imagine what it was like for a child in foster care. Living in a new place, possibly with people you have never known, amid the chaos brought to us by the pandemic. Schools were closed, and so many of the safety nets that our community has for children also closed. That is the challenges our children faced. It is for that very reason that CASA of Santa Barbara County never closed our doors.

We never stopped, and can’t stop, because children rely on their CASA volunteers to be a link to safety, and CASA volunteers rely on the CASA team for support and guidance. Our commitment to stand by children in need does not end when times are tough. We know that may be when we are needed most.

We are compassionate adults who are a consistent presence, who care, who listen, especially when a child is scared. We are there to help them heal and thrive. We give them the support they need to become happy, successful adults. We help them find the road home, wherever it lies. We are there for as long as it takes to reach a safe, permanent home.

None of this changed when life threw us a curveball.

We changed HOW we got things done when a change was needed. We adapted as we all learned new skills and new ways to communicate. This year’s annual report has a special section to report on how we adjusted our operations to continue working to keep children safe.

We are so grateful that you, our Impact Investors, continued to support CASA’s mission. In many cases, you increased your support. We are honored to present CASA of Santa Barbara County’s Impact Report 2020, where you will see the results you made possible by supporting the CASA team of more than 300 CASA volunteers, board and committee members, and the CASA staff.

Yours in the service of children,

Kim Colby Davis

Executive Director

Heather Ames

Board of Directors, President

FY 2020 Achievement Highlights

  • 295 CASA volunteers advocated for 527 children who experienced the trauma of abuse and/or neglect
  • 25,345 hours of service were donated by CASA volunteers, 17,802 miles were traveled by volunteers, providing $789,497 in value to the community
  • 58 new volunteers completed 35 hours of pre-service training to join our team of volunteer child advocates


In March, when COVID-19 struck, our first concern, as it always is, was for the kids. How would we continue our advocacy and keep everyone (volunteers, children, families, staff) healthy? How would we ensure that the children already in care would have the support they needed when we couldn’t physically see them? What could we do to ensure that the children who were isolated at home in potentially dangerous situations for an unknown amount of time would have an advocate in the courtroom 

We knew it wouldn’t be easy, but we knew our work was more critical than ever.  

We are so proud of how our advocates, staff, and board responded. We learned new technology and communication tools. We saw volunteers increasing the contacts they had with their children. We developed new ways to share information about CASA, raise money to support our operations, and implemented a new way to train volunteer advocates 

We believe we are even stronger than before. 

Because children were not in school or other inperson activities for months, many advocates had more contact with their children than ever through the use of video chat, phone calls, “curbside visits,” mail, and now physically distanced visits. Advocates have had long, deep discussions with their teenaged CASA youth (sometimes long text messages) about the effects of COVID-19 on them emotionally and its impact on not seeing family or friends at school. They’ve hopped on video chat to read stories with their younger CASA kids or to complete art projects together virtually. During this time, one of our most popular social media posts was a photo of a science project – making lava lamps via zoom! 

CASA volunteers stepped up for their children as they always do, but in different ways than they did before March 2020And through it all, volunteers turn in hundreds of court reports on time. The court had vital information regarding the lives of the children in the care of the court. 

Community partners helped us secure masks, shields, gloves, and hand sanitizers that we distributed to all volunteers beginning in April 2020. Keeping our volunteers healthy and safe is critical to CASA. 

Recognizing the essential services provided by CASA volunteers, we worked with the County Public Health Department to have CASA volunteers recognized for tier 1A vaccine distribution. Our volunteers eagerly got their vaccines, giving them more confidence to resume in-person meetings with their assigned child, following CDC protocols for social distancing. 

The “safe at home” order interrupted a large class of new volunteers. Fifteen community members had completed half of the training and were excited to be sworn in and serve one of the many children on the waiting list.  As much as we needed more volunteers, we wanted to make sure that everyone was safe. 

By early May, we implemented a new model for volunteer training. CASA University is an online, universitystyle platform that allows an unlimited number of volunteers to complete much of the coursework online and at times that are convenient to them. We paired this with a series of four in-person intensive training sessions. When it was safe to offer the training with social distancing, masks, and other CDC protocol, we started with groups of 5-7 volunteers at a time and have continued at that rate since then. 

Continuing Education training for our volunteers is essential, and we have held monthly lunch and learns for years. With the pandemic, that was not possible, so we worked hard to offer various online options – webinars, live online sessions, book clubs, and more, giving variety to our volunteers while still meeting the need for in-service training. 

Throughout the pandemic, we’ve been told: “home is the safest place to be.” But for hundreds of children in Santa Barbara County, this is sadly not true. The COVID-19 crisis presents an entirely new set of challenges for our children, requiring us to adapt our strategies for our immediate work and for the foreseeable future. 

To support our operations, we had to be creative with our fundraising efforts, too. We were just about to have the kick-off celebration for the second annual CASA Ducky Derby when news of the pending shutdown caused us to pause the event. Our fantastic community partners turned their sponsorships into donations, and we regrouped with a successful virtual event in July. Many of our supporters had a little fun with our “Interview with a Duck” opportunity, and the virtual event exceeded our expectations! 

Contributions from our treasured donors continue to provide our children with the opportunity to thrive in safe and permanent homes free from debilitating trauma. The gift of being heard and supported is the best gift they could receive. 

Swearing in ceremonies looked a little bit different, but volunteers were still able to take the oath in our courtroom

Volunteers did science experiments over ZOOM with things families had at home

CASA volunteers picked up activity boxes from our Children’s Activity Committee donated by Team Chumash

Training classes became a hybrid – after completing the online portion volunteers gathered safely for the remaining classes

Christmas time looked a little different, but thanks to our community, every child received a gift!

CASA staff helped put together Thanksgiving food boxes, thanks to a generous donation from Ontraport!

Our Donors

$50,000 – $100,000 Trudy Ann Brown Draughtsmen Aleworks Henry and Bobbie Offen
Judicial Council of California Zach and Ashlynn Gordon Glenda Lawson Herbert and Shelley Cole
County of Santa Barbara Human Services $2,499 – $1,000 Gregory and Cobie Jace Yoder
$49,000 – $30,000 Adam Liff Homer and Kathleen Ferguson Jane Fehrenbacher
Roy and Ida Eagle Foundation Alexander and Kathy Simas James Jepsen Janet Blevins
Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians Foundation Arthur Denny Jay McOuat–The Juicery Jarret Zafran
Santa Barbara Foundation A-Z Club, Est 1920 Jean M. Reiche Jay and Sally Smith
The Mark and Dorothy Smith Family Foundation Bank of America Charitable Gift Fund Joyce and Paul Ryan Jayme Misfeldt
$29,999 – $20,000 Becky and Peter Adams Judith K. Blankenship Jeff and Linda Hearn
National CASA Association Betty and Mike Noling Karen Broumand Jeffrey and Victoria Harbison
Hutton Parker Foundation Brenda Nancarrow Katherine and George Davidson Jennifer Mills and David Schierman
Roddick Foundation Brian and Chemayne  Simas Kathleen Jackson Jennifer Smithwick
The Crawford Idema Foundation Calyx Peak Group Kay Bruce Jill and Arnold Bellowe
The Towbes Foundation Carol Diamond Linda Clough Joan Stoner
Yardi Systems, Inc. Corine and Jay Cerny Mark Romasanta John Dixon
$19,999 – $10,000 Daniel and Peggy Blough Maxine Johnson John Dwyer
American Medical Response David and Lynne Richardson Michael O`Leary Joseph and Dinah Lockhart
James S. Bower Foundation David and Ruth Green Michele Saltoun Joy Winer
Julie Henley McNamara Deborah and Marty Lynch New Day Marketing, LTD Judith and Ruben Cosio
Michael Holland Deborah Talmage Nicole Hale Judy Fessenden
Montecito Bank and Trust Dominic and Hala Adam Rachel Pace Julie Yamamoto
Ted and Coleen Friedel Doris and Robert Schaffer Roger Durling Kelly Johnson
The Edwin and Jeanne Woods Family Foundation Douglas and Kerry Millhorn Ronald and Sherri Adler Kimberly Rosa
The Stone Family Foundation Edward and Martha Kaufman Rotary Club of Santa Barbara North Charitable Foundation Kira and Bryce Cosio
Volentine Family Foundation Edward Graper Sandy and Gary Gothe Kurt and Marion Anker
Wood-Claeyssens Foundation Edwin and Caroline Woods Santa Barbara County’s United Way Lee Carroll
WWW Foundation FLIR Systems, Inc. Stephen and Edith Foley Lettie Fulmore
$9,999 – $5,000 Frank Ritenour Steve and Marie Will Linda Lorenzen
AGIA Gary and Anna Nett Susan and John Hanna Linda Reed
AllState Foundation Grace Pacheco Ted and Beth Ortega Lindsay Soleimani
American General Media Jay and Anne Hardy The Hampton Foundation Lorine Edens
CoastHills Community Foundation Jeanne and David Hoffman The Hon. Timothy and Colleen Staffel Maggi Daane
Deckers Outdoor Jennifer and Eddie Murray Turpin Family Charitable Foundation Margaret Kempf
Fighting Back Santa Maria Valley Jennifer Belinski Veronica Sandoval Marti and Gil Garcia
Frank and Alida Freda Jodi Mitchell Virginia Ortega Martin Zuanich
Frank and Joseph Gila Fund Joe and Sylvia Centeno $499 – $100 Mary Feragen
Greene Family Foundation John and Terri Patino Alisa and Brad Haley Matthew Morris
Herbert and Gertrude Latkin Charitable Foundation Kim and Mike Davis Alison and William Werts Megan Hillyer and Joseph Kotowski
Hunter-Jelks Fund Larry and Krystal Lahr Allison Borja Meriwest Mortgage
Joseph and Sherri Will Larry and Wendy Barels Amazon Smile Michael and Nancy Neville
Kappa Alpha Theta Gamma Rho Chapter Lisa and Joe Doud Andrew and Adrianne Davis Michael Burke
Martin and Kerrilee Gore Lisa Murray Andrew Burge Michelle McToldridge
Michelle Horenberger Lynda and Jim Snodgrass Ann and John Brinker Mike and Linda Cordero
Quintron Systems, Inc. Lyons Family Foundation, Inc. Ann Sullivan and Ed DeCaro Mona Clements
The Henry W. Bull Foundation Martha Clark Barbara and John DeGroot Morehart 4 Financial Services
The Raintree Foundation Maryan Schall Barbara Margerum Nancy Knapp
$4,999 – $2,500 Meghan and Rob Skinner Barrett Air Conditioning Noonday Collection
Altrusa International Foundation of Santa Maria Milton and Deann Zampelli Bea Willis Owen and Laurie Guitteau
Andrea Hein Mr. & Mrs. Adamson Bill and Donna Brown Pat Merritt
Andrew Dowen MUFG Union Bank, N.A. Bill F. and Lisa A. Volmar Patricia Santiago
Betsy and Robert Manger Philip and Carolyn Wyatt Bill Rosen Penelope Stirling
Chick-fil-A Enos Ranch Phyllis Noble Brian and Gloria Wise Rachelle Ramirez
Cox Charities Foundation Prudence Sternin Bruce and Andrea Morden Randy Glick
Diane  Sheldon Ralph and Lucy Archuleta Caitlyn Baker Renee Alexandre
Gary and Ruth Pace Ramona and Bernie Cabiles Candace Zafiris Richard Clontz
Gloria and Rob Dias Robin Rickershauser Carol Hubner Roland Miller
Goldman Sachs Philanthropy Fund Scottie and Frank Ortiz Carrie and Grey Brothers Ron and Laurie Biscaro
Hardy Diagnostics Shiloh Flagg Christine Roberts Ryan and Angela Siemens
In-N-Out Burger Foundation Skinner Family Fund Cityview Community Church Sally Ostini
Jack Tiethof and Anita Sly Susan Galluzzo Colonel Clelland and Yvonne Downs Sandra Brown
Jim and Julie Burge TD Ameritrade Clearing Connie and Frederick Quigley Sara Holloway
Lauren Pinsker The Hawkins Foundation Cottage Health Sharon Dutton
Laurie Ashton and Lynn Sarko The Honorable Jed Beebe and Diane Beebe Craig and Christine Reade Sheila Davidson
Local Copies, Etc. The M and M Foundation Crysta Metzger Shelley Moore
Marcy Carsey Vanguard Charitable David Gersh Shirley Grace
Mark and Jennifer Teixeira William and Kathy Borgers Dean Hansen Stephanie & Tres Riordan
Mark and Tracy English Wrenette and Donald Hole Deborah Schiller Stephen and Marian Cohen
Mark H Smith $999 – $500 DenMat Stephen Thomas
Michael  Wiley Alfred and Julia Clark Diane Baskin Steve Bridge
Mona McConkey and Dominick Barry Altrusa Club of the Central Coast Foundation, Inc. Dominick and Pam Palera Susan and Richard Gillespie
Patricia and Evan Aptaker Andre Becker Elinor Plumer Susan Hoggarth
Raul Armenta Barbara Ramos Elsha Narachi Suzanne Hull
Rotary Club of Santa Maria Connie L. Kennelly Emily Smith Terryl Bunn
Rotary Club of Santa Maria Breakfast Dave Clark Frederick and Teresa Cota The Honorable Authur A. Garcia and Carmen Garcia
Selden and Judy Edner David and K.C. Adornetto Gail and David Mexico Tim Murphy
Shirley and Clay Decker Debi and Martin Testa Gary and Susan Gulbransen Timothy Bigelow
Steven and Marnie Pinsker Deborah Smilovitz Foster George and Mary Alice Majoue Tony and Carol Cossa
The Santa Maria Sun Dennis Forster and Cynder Sinclair Goleta Valley Mini Storage Town and Country Women’s Club of Santa Barbara
Tony and Sabrina Papa Diana Moffitt Gordon Steele Tristin M. Sherman
Diane Ziliotto Heather Ames United Way of Brevard County, Inc.
Doris and Don Becker Helene Beaver Velma Marsalek

Our Volunteers

Tove Aase Sintya Dominquez Brian Klinge Scheryn Pratt
Xiomara Abayari Alice Duckett Heather Kunkle Rosie Quimby
Shirley Adelhelm Jean Eaton Stephen Kwong Mark Raitt
Suzanne Allen De Sanchez Lisa Encke Celia Lala Cynthia Ramirez
Catherine Alsup Angela Ente Kimberlee Lamar Yajaira Ramirez
Stacey Anderson Anthony Escobar Colleen Lathery Bianca  Ramos
Milissa Anderson Carrie Esparza Lizanne Lawrence Mayra  Ramos
Patricia Aptaker Sylvia Estrada Jose Legaspi Ledezma Obdulio  Ramos
Alexis Arconian Nicole Estrada Michele Lenaburg Patricia Rascon
Hovhannes Aroyan Lisa Evans Karen Lewis Christine Reade
Diana Arrieta Forrest Evans Diamond Leyva Mark Richardson
Rebecca  Atkinson LeeAnn Evans Adam Liff Robin Rickershauser
Sarah Baeza Mary Fahning Betsy Linane Latanya Rios
Kelly Barbieri Celia Fajardo Sandy Lipowski Frank Ritenour
Anne Barkett Diana Farfan Ayala Yvette Lord Sandy Rodarte
Chelsey Barkley Donna Farrell Jessica Luna Paul Rodarte
Adriane Barnard Mary Feragen Beckey Maikrzek-Dasis Tracy Rogers
Patricia Barriga Tina Fisher Yolanda Manfredonia Richard Ross
Clare Barrios-Knox Shiloh Flagg Shirlyn Marcum Christa Roth
Arely Bartolo Shannen Fletcher Joseph Martinez Tamara Rowles
Elizabeth Baycroft Frederic Foerst Frances Martinez Simona Regina Rubalcaba
Jennifer Belinski Lisa Franklin Lydia McHone Lucy Rudat
Tracy Berner Nancy Freeman Carolyn McQuay Viridiana Ruiz
Amanda Beyers Lori Frias Patricia Merritt Nayeli Salinas
Tim Bigelow Anne Gagne Manuel Mestas Manuel Sanchez
Maryalice Birk Susan Galluzzo Kimberly Miles Manuel Sanchez Grimaldi
Beth Bishop Elaine Gardner Angela Milholland Paola Sandoval
Nicole Blankenship Bridget Gardner Amanda Milholland Jacqueline Santana
Sarah Bleyl Brian Gargas Esther Miller Chloe Sarantopoulos
Salina Bolden Dawne Gilchrist Kerry Millhorn Thomas Scafide
Megan Brand Kathy Gleason Jane Mills Susan Scheetz
Jenny Brice Joanne Gonzales Delma Mohr Heidi Schultz
Jonathan Bronkowski Sandra Gonzalez Gloria Montague Tara Scotti
Bari Brossard Margaret Gray Maria Montano Geordie Scully
Karen Broumand Rachel Green Judith Monte Chris Setts
Donna Brown Sabrina Green Maylin Moore Susan Shanaberger
Terryl Bunn Alysa Grover Maria Morales Tristin Sherman
Nancy Cabrera Miriam Guarrera Cynthia Morr Kathy Sherwood
Susan Cappiello Dave Halpern Jennifer Morrell Cassandra Sigala
Test CASA Tiffany Hampton Kathryn Moser Erika Slikker
Emily Casarez Sally Hankins Erin Moses Tracy Smith
Cassandra Castillo Serena Haro Jane Mountrose Sally Smith
Courtney Cazenave Alicia Hauki Samantha Mouradian Stephanie Sneddon
Lynn Cederquist Andrea Hein Joanne  Murphy Sally Stonefelt
Lisa Champion Laura Henderson Lisa Murray Mary Beth Stromberg
Rebecca Chaves Rachael Hernandez Donna Mylott Patricia (Pam) Suess
Cynthia Clarke Valerie Herrera Brittany Napier Meagan Tambini
Jessica Cohen Chelsea Hewitt Tim Naughton Jessica Taylor
Shelley  Cole Kevin Hightower Christopher Naughton Elizabeth Tinoco
Jennifer Cole Amy Hinkens David Nigh Christy Toro-Valles
Madysyn Coleman Melanie Honeycutt Lynda Nuernberg-Smith Sonia Toro-Valles
Laura Collector Jeff Hopson Lauren Nylund Rachel Tucker
Bonnie Comita Adriana Hopson Alyssa O’ Keefe Sandra Valdez
Elizabeth  Cook Audrey Horstmann Gail Ocheltree Angelica Vargas
Brenda Corona Stephen Hughes Karla Ochoa Maria Velasco
Rosa Coronado Suzanne Hull Barbara Odza Noe  Vergara-Solano
Graciela Correa Robyn Hutchinson Ana Ojeda Gina  Verkamp
Lisa Crane Deborah Hyatt Daniel Olivier Gert Walter
Teri Creath Kelsey Ibach Peggy “Scottie” Ortiz Samantha Wheeler
Susan Cross Eva Inbar Frank Ortiz Dana Whitted
Kathy Crow Kathleen Jackson Sally Ostini Nicolette Williams
Chris Cruz Dawn Jimenez Kelly Owen Sharon Willis
Kathy Dallaire Kimberly Johnson Shayna Ozer Sarah Wilson
Pete Dasis Maxine Johnson Mary Ellen Pankratz Marcus Wilson
Kim Davis Michael Jones Dennis Pankratz Kenneth Wolf
Noelle Davis Patricia  Jorgensen Caryl Parks Darcy Wright
Leslie Davis Samantha Kane June Parr Rachel Yoder
Rosalind De’Atley Michelle Kass Katie Pechersky Dawn Ziegler
Terri Deick KC Kemp Isela Pena-Pena Lisa Ziemba
Kim Densmore Soledad Kennedy Jared Perry Jacqueline Zinke
Monica Dettmer Marion King Rebecca Petersen Marie Zondler
Kelly Devany Susan Kinnevy Cindy Pica Angela Zungri
Morgan DiNoble Alexis Kirchner Steven Pinsker
Jessica Dominguez Grace Kirschner Scott Plyler