May is National Foster Care Month!
Last year, for National Foster Care Month, California CASA created a social media-based awareness campaign that encouraged CASA volunteers to share why they volunteer. We asked programs to take and post photos of their CASA volunteers holding up signs that finished the statement: “I Volunteer Because...” Programs from the northern Siskyou County down to Imperial County bordering Mexico submitted and posted images, and used hashtags to strengthen the campaign.
With the success of the 2016 campaign, we’re again calling on our state’s CASA programs and volunteers to highlight the vitally important role advocates have in the lives of foster youth. Whether a CASA program or CASA volunteer, we encourage you to participate and as we create a cohesive message throughout the state for National Foster Care month. #CASAsChangeLives #BeACASA #NationalFosterCareMonth.
And, in the spirit of fun competition, we’re offering weekly incentives!
- The program that has the most photos posted of volunteers and staff will win a $25 gift certificate to Target, Amazon, or Starbucks- your choice.
- The program that has the highest percentage of their volunteers and staff will also win a $25 gift certificate to Target or Starbucks- your choice.
This is honor system, so at the end of each week in May, please let us know your numbers. Also don’t forget to “like” and “follow” us on Facebook!
National Foster Care Month Volunteer Communication Toolkit
Goals: Involve CASA volunteers in celebrating National Foster Care Month, and recognize the positive impact they have on foster youth in their communities. This statewide, unified effort will raise awareness of the 44 CASA programs across the state, as well as encourage more Californians to become volunteer advocates. Utilizing social media during the month of May, this campaign will consist of photos of CASAs holding up a sign that reads ““I Volunteer Because...” with CASA volunteers’ own messages. The images may then be posted to social media by the CASA programs or by volunteers, using the hashtags: #CASAsChangeLives #BeACASA #NationalFosterCareMonth.
Instructions for CASA Programs:
- To the left is a PDF template of the sign “I Volunteer Because...” Please print out multiple color copies for volunteers who visit your offices. Have some sharpie markers or other markers on hand. If your volunteers do not visit your offices, please email them this toolkit. Instructions for volunteers are attached.
- Have your volunteers fill out the template. Invite them to ask themselves: Why do I volunteer for CASA? Then they may choose one short phrase and write it on the sign. Please make sure they write clearly and legibly. The message must be very clear on the sign and highly readable in the photo for it to show up well in social media posts.
- Pick a designated area for taking the photo. Avoid a busy background and instead choose a simple, non-distracting background (like a blank wall). Photos taken by mobile phone are best when there is adequate soft light available.
- Take the photo!
- Make sure the sign is clearly visible in the shot, including the header, hashtags, and CASA logo.
- A landscape (horizontal) or square photo is the best format to use.
- Don’t forget to ask your volunteers to smile 🙂
- Post the photos you take (and those you receive via email from your volunteers) on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and also consider including them in your newsletter and annual reports!
Here are some examples of text to use:
Meet [Name], one of the thousands of CASA volunteers providing advocacy to 12,000 foster youth in California. This #NationalFosterCareMonth, we celebrate CASA volunteers for their work to improve the lives of foster youth in our community. LIKE & SHARE to support, and learn more about becoming a CASA at LINK.
May is #NationalFosterCareMonth, a reminder of why we need to continue to advocate for children in foster care. Though our CASA volunteers have their own ways of answering “I Volunteer Because …,” they all share a dedication to improving children’s lives. #CASAsChangeLives #BeACASA #NationalFosterCareMonth
We at NAME OF ORG are one of 44 CASA programs across our state and thank our CASA volunteers for being among those who provided caring, one-on-one advocacy to some 12,000 of California’s foster youth last year. #CASAsChangeLives #BeACASA #NationalFosterCareMonth
[Name] shares why he/she is a CASA volunteer. #CASAsChangeLives #BeACASA #NationalFosterCareMonth. Sign up to volunteer: LINK.
Though CASA volunteers answer “I Volunteer Because” differently, they all share a dedication to improving children’s lives. #CASAsChangeLives #BeACASA #NationalFosterCareMonth
We and our CASA volunteers are proud to be among those who provide caring advocacy to more than 12,000 foster youth in California. #CASAsChangeLives #BeACASA #NationalFosterCareMonth