Be a Volunteer: Help Foster Children by Becoming a Court Appointed Special Advocate
What is a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA)?
A Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) is a volunteer who is a positive and supportive person to a child in the foster care. Child Advocates of Silicon Valley is a member of the National CASA organization, a network of nearly 1,000 local community programs supporting children in the foster care system who have experienced abuse and neglect.
How do I get started?
Attend a volunteer info session. This is your chance to learn more about the program, hear CASAs share their experiences and ask questions. At the info session, you can fill out an application and sign up for an interview with a staff specialist. If you are accepted into our training program, we'll enroll you in a training class with a group of 30 to 50 other volunteers. After you are sworn-in as an officer of the court, you will work with one of our specialists to choose a foster child or teen to work with.
How much time do CASA volunteers spend with their kids?
About 10-12 hours a month split between 3-4 visits is the average for our volunteers. Around twice a year CASAs submit reports to the court and attend a court hearing regarding the child. In order to ensure stability and constancy for the children we serve, CASAs are asked for a commitment of 12 months with a child. Some cases are shorter, some are longer.
Do I choose my advocate child?
Yes. Our staff will get to know what age, gender, and interests you prefer and then you'll sit down, read the children’s profiles, and choose a child.
How do I know if being a CASA is right for me?
Our volunteers are from all over Silicon Valley. They are gardeners, programmers, cyclists, hikers, parents and nonparents, lawyers, teachers, administrative assistants, retirees and college students; they are Latina or Latino, Asian American or White, African American or South Asian; they are straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, cisgender, queer or nonconforming (we've won awards for our work with LGBTQ volunteers and youth). What they all have in common is that they are generous adults from around the entire South Bay and Peninsula who volunteer their time to support foster youths in our community. And we could not be more grateful. We hope you will be one of them soon, so please consider attending an info session.
How do CASAs impact foster youth?
CASAs can have a positive impact on a foster child's life in a number of ways. Read all about it here.
Have more questions?
Limited English Proficiency Policy
It is our policy to ensure that persons with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) shall not be discriminated against nor denied meaningful access to, and participation in, the programs and services provided by us. In order to ensure meaningful access and participation for LEP persons, VFC shall notify such persons that language services may be available to them at no cost and shall take reasonable steps to see that language services are provided.
We may provide language assistance services to LEP persons in the following ways:
- Oral interpretation services
- Bilingual staff
- Written language services
- Community volunteers
If a need for a telephone interpreter is identified, we will consider adding this service as quickly as possible at no cost to the person in need.