Child Advocates of Silicon Valley

The CASA Model

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.

By matching volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) with dependent children, Child Advocates of Silicon Valley ensures that the needs and best interests of foster children in our program are met.

Because our volunteers are court-appointed, they can thoroughly review every aspect of a child’s case, including meeting teachers, social workers and foster parents.

Advocates provide reports to the court so judges can make decisions with clear and accurate information. In addition to representing children in court, CASAs serve as friends and mentors.

The Need

There are more than 1,600 children in Santa Clara County’s foster care system. According to the American Medical Association, “A more vulnerable group does not exist than children removed from the custody of their parents and placed in foster care.”

Foster children are among the most vulnerable members of our community. Faced with the uncertainty and disappointment that comes from being uprooted from home, school, family and friends, they become part of an overburdened dependency system and, too often, slip through the cracks. These children need an adult they can trust – a powerful voice to guide them and advocate for them. Are you ready to speak up for a foster child in your community?

What is a CASA?

CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocate. CASAs are highly trained community volunteers that are appointed by the court to cases of juvenile dependency. CASAs serve as the voice for the child within the dependency system and ensure that the best interests of the child are being served.

They work one-on-one with foster children, providing critical emotional and educational support, ensuring each child’s needs are met and their voice is heard while navigating the court dependency system. A CASA can significantly influence a foster child’s life in and out of the courtroom.

By volunteering, you work one-on-one with a child and offer compassion and advocacy during the journey toward a safe, loving, permanent home. Studies show that the presence of one stable, supportive adult in a child’s life can profoundly affect the child’s future.

At the same time, you have the opportunity to enrich your own life. In a recent survey, 99% of our CASAs reported that their volunteer experience has been satisfying, and in many instances, a life-changing one.