CASA Hires a New Cheerleader for the Children
CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) has a new staff member to help volunteers be the voice for abused or neglected children in Santa Barbara County. With over 300 children being served every day, and a waiting list of more than 80, Kira Farrell is ready to help. As the Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Farrell joins the CASA team with bright ideas, confidence, and resiliency. Her diverse background in non-profits, fundraising, and advocacy brings a new energy to CASA to help meet the goal of making sure every child in need has a CASA volunteer by their side.
"CASA of Santa Barbara County needs to continue to grow, especially in Santa Maria. The majority of the kids on our waiting list are in Santa Maria, and we have the specific goal of serving every abused and/or neglected child. To help us accomplish that, we are excited to add Ms. Farrell to the team.” adds Kim Colby Davis, Executive Director. “Kira brings an enthusiasm and energy for our work that is positively contagious. I love her commitment to advocacy and look forward to watching her use her creativity to help us find the volunteers that are so badly needed right now."
As a Cal Poly Cheerleader for four years, Farrell was often the bridge between the university and important donors, alumni, students, and families. Using her expertise in communications, extemporaneous speaking, and oral histories, Farrell hopes to increase the number of volunteers CASA attracts by creating memorable and engaging social media posts, website content, and other printed materials. With experience at the local YMCA and animal shelter, Farrell has a firm understanding of what it takes to work for a non-profit, and the emotional resiliency it demands. “It’s vital to tirelessly fight and never give up for the children who need our help” commented Farrell, “I know that my work will make a difference.” No stranger to hard work, Farrell attained a Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Science from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, while simultaneously being a college athlete, professional sorority president, and working up to three jobs at a time.
“I'm looking forward to working with Kira to find the 120 volunteers we need this year. She brings a high level of enthusiasm, coupled with a strong background in communications and marketing that will support our efforts in the community” says Crystal Moreno, Recruiting and Outreach Director. Together, the two will work to assure that every child in need has a CASA volunteer. Moreno adds, “I am confident she is the right person for the job, and together we will serve more children than ever before!”
About CASA of Santa Barbara County
CASA, which stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates, trains volunteers who are sworn in by a juvenile court judge to help ensure abused or neglected children find a safe, permanent home as quickly as possible. The role of a CASA volunteer is to act as an extra pair of eyes and ears for the court, collecting information through observation and interviews with key people in the child’s life before reporting back to the judge.
A CASA volunteer advocate speaks on behalf of the child in court. The volunteer meets with the child, family members, teachers, foster parents, and others involved in a foster child’s life. The volunteer gathers facts for the court and presents information before a judge in the best interest of the child.
Volunteers complete an application process which includes a screening interview, background and reference checks, and 30 hours of pre-service training. After completion of the pre-service training, volunteers are sworn in as officers of the court. This gives them the legal authority to conduct research on the child’s situation and submit reports to the court.