The History of SFCASA
The success of SFCASA reflects a community will to improve quality of life, expand opportunity, and prevent delinquency for abused and neglected children in foster care. Since 1991 SFCASA has been committed to providing individualized volunteer advocacy and mentorship to foster children and youth. SFCASA began operations with a class of 11 volunteers. Today SFCASA has more than 329 volunteers and in the last year has provided services to 334 court dependent children. On any given day, our waiting list consists of 130–160 children referred to SFCASA by the court and awaiting assignment to volunteers.
In 1999 SFCASA was selected by the Stuart Foundation to participate in a pilot study of the effectiveness of CASA volunteers providing intensive services to infants and toddlers ages 0–3. The success of this project led to the implementation of our highly successful Infant and Toddler Program.
In 2003 SFCASA was the first CASA program to be included in an NIH/UCSF study of the impact of CASA volunteer advocacy on foster children’s health.
In 2007 SFCASA dedicated a full time staff member, the Educational Advocacy Coordinator, to train, coordinate, and supervise all SFCASA volunteer advocacy efforts to meet our client children’s individual learning needs. The Educational Advocacy Coordinator also serves as an official liaison to the school district.
SFCASA is one of more than 900 independent CASA programs throughout the United States. The first CASA program began in Seattle, Washington, in 1977. This program was so successful that soon judges across the country began utilizing citizen advocates. Today, CASA has grown to a network of more than 59,000 volunteers serving 243,000 abused and neglected children nationwide.