Voices for Children's mission is to transform the lives of abused, abandoned, or neglected children by providing them with trained, volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs).
Founded in 1980, Voices for Children is a private, nonprofit organization that recruits, trains, and supports CASA volunteers who advocate for the needs and well-being of children in foster care. As the only agency designated by the courts to provide CASA volunteers in San Diego County, Voices for Children's CASAs play a crucial role in helping Juvenile Court judges make the most informed decisions on behalf of children.
CASAs fill a gap in the foster care system by providing children with a consistent and caring adult presence. VFC assigns each CASA to the case of a single child or sibling group in foster care. CASAs devote 10-15 hours per month visiting their youth, gathering information about their needs, and providing consistent guidance, mentorship, and advocacy. They commit to serving for at least 18 months, but many serve for the duration of a youth’s time in the system.
CASAs learn about a child’s strengths, personality, and goals for the future. Should a CASA identify unmet needs, they will advocate on a child’s behalf in court, in schools, in healthcare settings, and the community to ensure that a child has access to the resources they need. Every six months, CASAs provide this information to the Court through a comprehensive written report, which helps judges to make critical decisions about a child’s current situation and future. In short, CASAs ensure that their assigned children obtain access to the services and resources they need to heal from trauma and reach their potential.