CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocate. CASAs are volunteers of all backgrounds who make a commitment to advocate for the needs of the child or sibling group with whom they are matched. A CASA gets to know a child’s situation, communicates with professionals on the case, and makes sure the child’s needs are being met. Over time, a CASA often becomes the most consistent person in a child’s life. At regular court hearings required for all children in foster care, our CASAs report on the children’s progress and needs, which is essential for judges to make the best decisions for their futures.
Our Children Need You
This year, an estimated 3,500 children will spend time in foster care in San Diego County and 4,000 will spend time in foster care in Riverside County after experiencing abuse or neglect. These children need you to speak up for them.
Six Steps to Becoming a CASA Volunteer
1. Attend an Information Session
Review our requirements for becoming a CASA. Then, sign up to attend a free Volunteer Information Session where you will hear from a current CASA and have the opportunity to ask questions.
Complete a CASA application to volunteer in either San Diego County or Riverside County. We encourage you to submit your volunteer application prior to the information session to streamline your journey toward becoming a CASA volunteer.
It’s our responsibility to make sure the volunteers who work with our kids are here for the right reasons, and we take that very seriously. At your interview, you will have the opportunity to tell us about yourself and why you’re interested in volunteering.
Our “Advocate University” training is designed to prepare you to be a successful advocate for a child. Advocate University includes 35 hours of instruction covering topics like child development and dependency law (weekend and evening trainings available). There is a nominal fee for training that can be waived if needed.
5. Meet Your Supervisor
Before you begin working on a case, you will be matched with an Advocacy Supervisor – a Voices for Children staff member who will work closely with you on the child’s case, offer resources, and provide support throughout your CASA service.
You’ve completed training and passed the required background checks (criminal and driving record). You’re ready to advocate! After graduating, you will be matched with a child or set of siblings.
Hear from Our Youth
Hear from Our CASAs
“I always had someone there, outside of my family, as a mentor, and I just felt that these people were so instrumental in my life that I needed to do what they did for me.”
– CASA Joe
"Yo fue maestra por treinta años en escuela primaria. Encontré in muchas occasiones niños in mi salon que pasaron por trauma. Yo como maestra, estaba limitada en como les puedîa aduyar a esos niños.”
– CASA Susannah
"It’s an awesome responsibility to be invited into someone’s life.”
– CASA Kim
How We Support Our Volunteers
You don’t need to know how the foster care system works or have a legal background to sign up to become a CASA. We provide all the training you need to become a successful advocate for a child. You can even add “trained as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA)” to your resume or LinkedIn profile.
Every volunteer is paired with a Voices for Children staff member called an Advocacy Supervisor who will support you every step of the way. Our team is knowledgeable about foster care, trauma-informed care, legal proceedings, and the many resources available to children in foster care.
Throughout your service, you will continue to have opportunities to learn and grow. Voices for Children offers small groups and continuing education including recommended readings, presentations on specific issues impacting foster care, and group discussions with fellow CASAs.
Get In Touch
If you have any questions about how you can volunteer and make a transformative difference in a child's life, please don't hesitate to contact us. We are so grateful for your interest, and our team is happy to help.