What We Do

Our Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Program

The goal of our Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Program is to ensure every child in the Santa Clara County Dependency Court System (foster care) has a caring, stable adult in their life to mitigate the effects of having experienced abuse, neglect, and/or abandonment.

As an affiliate of the National Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Association, we are responsible for adhering to the national guidelines when training, recruiting and supporting CASA Volunteers in Santa Clara County.

A Responsibility We Take Seriously

All CASA Volunteers are trained community members who are appointed with a court order by a judge to advocate for the best interests of a child in foster care. They stay with each case for up to a year or until the case is closed and the child is in a safe, permanent home. CASA Volunteers work with legal and child welfare professionals, educators, service providers and family members to ensure the child’s voice is heard. Their advocacy enables judges to make the most well-informed decision for each child.

It is our job to ensure our CASA Volunteers are the right people for the job and receive the training and support needed to succeed. To become a CASA Volunteer, candidates are required to attend an info session, participate in face-to-face interviews, pass an extensive background check and attend 30 hours of training (currently conducted via webinars and online classes). Only then are they able to select and get appointed to a case and begin their advocacy.

Our CASA Volunteers SHOW UP, STAND UP & LIFT UP.

Once appointed to a case, our CASA Volunteers are expected and supported to:

Mentor

Build a one-to-one trusted relationship with your foster child and consistently SHOW UP by planning weekly in-person visits and activities.

Advocate

STAND UP for your foster child within the system to ensure they receive the services and resources they’re entitled to and would benefit from.

Be a Voice

Attend court hearings and submit written reports directly to the Court to assist the judge in making decisions that will LIFT UP the child.

A CASA Volunteer’s advocacy can change the life trajectory of a child in foster care.

Giving Children the Support They Need

In addition to adhering to the National Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Program guidelines, Child Advocates of Silicon Valley supports its CASA Volunteers with creating Advocacy Plans tailored to the child(ren) they’re serving. Advocacy Plans give the CASAs insight into a child’s well-being and development, and informs and records the services and resources provided to every child throughout their time with Child Advocates, from CASA Volunteer assignment to Court case closure. These plans are intended to strengthen the most important aspects of the role of a CASA Volunteer: building a relationship with the youth, advocating for them in the system and voicing their concerns to the Court.

Child Advocates of Silicon Valley has also identified and dedicated resources to specialty areas that enhance our CASA Program and better support the children we serve. Each specialty area has a dedicated CASA Specialist responsible for offering activities and resources, developing community partnerships, identifying community resources and tracking child outcomes. Our specialty areas are instrumental in equipping CASA Volunteers with the knowledge and resources required to help children overcome the effects of having experienced trauma.

Specialty Areas