Anthony was kicked out of a Beaumont foster home because he’s gay. He endured anti-gay taunts from a roommate at a group foster facility.
Now, the 17-year-old says he is in a better place. He has lived with his new foster parents in Temecula for 15 months, and a gay man appointed by a juvenile-court judge as his advocate has become a confidant and friend who is helping Anthony open up about his problems and about issues involving his sexual orientation.
Riverside County’s Court Appointed Special Advocates program has become a state leader in assisting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered children who have been neglected, abused or abandoned and ended up in the foster care system, said Marissa Guerrero, program manager for California CASA, which provides assistance to the 44 CASA agencies in the state.
Judges appoint special advocate volunteers to represent the interests of some foster children in court and visit with them regularly.