San Francisco Court Appointed Special Advocate Program
Our vision is that every child has a safe, loving home and is given the opportunity to thrive.
CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) is a national, nonprofit organization that focuses on volunteer advocacy for abused and neglected children. The first CASA program originated in Seattle, Washington, in 1977 and was so successful that judges across the country began utilizing citizen advocates. Today, CASA has grown to a network of more than 75,000 CASA and guardian ad litem (GAL) volunteers serving 240,000 abused and neglected children nationwide.
The San Francisco CASA Program (SFCASA) is a community-based, 501(c)3 organization founded in 1991 with its first graduating class of 11 volunteer advocates. It is one of more than 900 independent CASA programs throughout the United States. SFCASA is the only volunteer program in San Francisco that empowers everyday citizens to become officers of the court to serve as advocates and mentors to abused and neglected children in foster care.
In an overburdened and under-funded social welfare system, foster
children can slip through the cracks without a caring and consistent adult
to speak up on their behalf. SFCASA volunteers change that. They provide judges with the crucial information needed to make sound decisions that affect the lives of foster children.
Volunteers help these children by:
- Advocating for safe, permanent, and nurturing homes
- Addressing their educational, healthcare, and other urgent needs
- Helping them to develop permanent connections in the community
All volunteers are screened, trained, and supervised by professional SFCASA staff. We serve cases referred to us by the Unified Family Court, the Human Services Agency, or children’s attorneys. SFCASA operates under the authority of, and according to guidelines established by, the Judicial Council of California and local rules of court.