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San Francisco Court Appointed Special Advocate Program

San Francisco CASA transforms the lives of abused and neglected foster youth by providing one consistent, caring volunteer advocate, trained to address each child’s needs in the court and the community.

http://www.sfcasa.org/ Tax ID 94-3039028

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CASA was formed because a judge wanted to have at least one person in the courtroom who was knowledgeable about all aspects of the child’s life and could clearly articulate what was best for the child.

What CASAs do

As a “CASA” (Court Appointed Special Advocate), you speak up for the best interests of a foster child in court. You don’t have to be a lawyer or social worker. Our volunteers are a diverse group of community members with a basic desire to help abused and neglected children. Volunteers receive training from experts in child welfare and juvenile dependency court. When they are assigned to a case, volunteers also have the complete support of SFCASA professional staff.

A CASA is often the only consistent and caring adult presence in the life of a foster child.

The role of the CASA is to review the foster child’s confidential files, assess individual needs, develop a relationship with the child through weekly visits, collaborate with the team of professionals involved in the case (social workers, caregivers, teachers, attorneys), submit court reports and attend court hearings, and advocate for the child’s best interests.

    A CASA addresses a foster child’s most vital needs–housing, education and healthcare–by ensuring that appropriate, court-ordered services are being received.
    A CASA provides a caring, consistent, adult role model and encourages the child’s self-esteem through mentorship.
    A child with a CASA receives more urgent services and is half as likely to re-enter foster care.