Our DEI committee has been active since 2015, meeting on a regular basis to discuss and strategize ways in which our organization can better meet the diverse needs of the children and families we serve. We seek to better understand the systemic inequities that impact our communities of color, people who identify as LGBTQ, and other historically marginalized and underrepresented populations. Our team has developed short-term and long-term goals in an effort to provide more culturally responsive advocacy, to diversify our staff, volunteers, and board members, and to shift the culture of our organization at all levels by fully integrating the principals of DEI.

We know that children of color are disproportionately represented in the foster care system and are less likely to encounter caseworkers, service providers, lawyers, judges, or CASAs who share their race or ethnicity.  We know that LGBTQ youth face increased discrimination, harassment, and hostility in the foster care system and experience a higher than average rate of suicidality. We know that undocumented children face constant fear of family separation and experience significant barriers to accessing educational, health, and housing services. These are just a few of the many complex issues we must take into consideration….

We are committed to strengthening our relationships and building partnerships with people, organizations, and businesses who reflect the diverse identities and cultures of the children and families we serve. We believe bringing more voices to the table to influence our policies and practices will help us provide better advocacy and arrive at better outcomes for our youth. To help us achieve our goals, as of February 2019, CASA for Children has hired DEI consultant, Thomas Bruner to work with us over a nine month period to further embed and operationalize diversity, equity, and inclusion into what we do and who we are as an organization at all levels. For continuity purposes and to ensure consistency with a core, dedicated group, for the duration of our consultancy (Feb-Oct) our DEI Committee meetings will not be open for drop-ins or new membership. Please direct any questions to: Carrie Sargavakian at csargavakian@casahelpskids.org.


When a child who has been abused and neglected is going through the trauma of the court system, a CASA advocate is tirelessly working to guide them through safely, quickly, and effectively.


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DEI Committee Members:

Carla Rose Allen, CASA Volunteer, Honorary Board Member

June Fernandez, CASA Volunteer

Georgia McGinnis Roberts, CASA Program Manager

Katherine Noble, Front Office Program Assistant

Jim Perillo, CASA Supervisor

Carrie Sargavakian, CASA Supervisor & DEI Coordinator

Mamadou Toure, Lead CASA Supervisor & Knowing Who You Are Manager

© 2019 CASA for Children, Inc.

503.988.5115 | 1401 NE 68th Avenue, Portland OR  97213

Photography ©Lars Topelmann