WATSONVILLE — After six years as the executive director of CASA of Santa Cruz County, Cynthia Druley will retire in August.
Druley began her tenure at CASA in January 2012 when changes to the child welfare system enabled youth age 18-21 to remain in the dependency system. She helped CASA launch services to those youth, and was also at the helm as the county’s FosterEd program was pioneered as a permanent educational support for children in foster care.
Under her leadership, CASA recently launched a new program to serve infants and toddlers in the foster/dependency care system, realizing the organization’s dream of serving all children from age birth to 21.
“We always say that no one ever leaves CASA, and that’s true. It’s true for me,” Druley said. “I’ve been touched by these children in a profound way. I will always hold CASA in my heart and continue to be a life-long advocate and supporter of children in the foster and dependency care systems.”
Over the past six years, CASA has steadily increased the number of children served by 10 percent a year. Last year, CASA served 283 children and youth in foster care, with an annual budget of $1.2 million.
“Cynthia’s leadership has made CASA one of the strongest and most powerful voices for foster children in Santa Cruz County,” CASA Board President David Fulton said.
After 50 years of working, Druley plans to spend more time reading, relaxing and traveling. After seeing the many hand-made quilts donated to the children at CASA, she has aspirations to become a quilter. She will also continue her volunteer service as a board member at the Community Foundation Santa Cruz County.
The job announcement for the executive director position will be posted in mid-March.