CASA Sacramento


Ensuring consistency and support for children in the foster care system through the use of volunteer advocates advancing the best interests of each child.

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Address: 301 Bicentennial Circle #220
Sacramento, CA 95826
County or Parish: Sacramento
Executive Director: Carol Noreen
Contact Email: communications@sacramentocasa.org
Primary Phone: 916-875-6460
Fax: 916-875-6879
Website: http://www.sacramentocasa.org
Court Appointed Special Advocates of Sacramento County (CASA Sacramento) was established in 1991 via a task force initiated by the Presiding Judge of the Juvenile Court. The task force was comprised of members of the Junior League of Sacramento, the Child Abuse Prevention Council of Sacramento, the Superior court and the Department of Social Services, currently known as the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). These individuals and agencies remain involved and support our program through collaborative projects, meetings concerning the dependency system and CASA's role, providing funding or donating time directly to the CASA Sacramento program. The program's purpose is to serve those children who are abused, neglected, or abandoned by their families in the County of Sacramento.

Through a unique partnership unlike any other in the County, the Juvenile Court looks to our agency to provide additional services to those youth needing it the most. We do this through volunteers who work one-on-one with a youth. Our volunteers are not only mentors, they are also court appointed special advocates (CASAs), which means they hold a legal standing and are able to speak up on behalf of their youth in the Juvenile Court system. We leverage their contributions of time and effort into expanded services for local foster youth. Last fiscal year, our volunteers worked with 264 foster youth by contributing 14,898 service hours, valued at $392,413 using the approved 2013 California volunteer rate of $26.34/hour.

Research shows one caring adult can change the course of a youth's life. For a foster youth, that is often their CASA volunteer. CASA volunteers ultimately reverse the trends listed below by building a relationship with their youth, investigating the youth's needs, identifying gaps and facilitating needed services. They do this by spending 10-15 hour/month with their youth; visiting the youth's placements to assess safety and stability; and establishing regular communication with the social workers, parents/guardians, attorneys, teachers, caregivers and therapists. Every six months, the CASA volunteer attends a court hearing and advocates for services in their youth's best interests, ultimately influencing the Court's decisions related to placement stability, permanence, education and safety.

- 95% of children and youth appointed an advocate receive more services and have improved outcomes in education, permanency and well-being.
- Male volunteers who work with boys in foster care can help stem the cross-over to the juvenile justice system. Boys in Sacramento County's foster care system urgently need male advocates. Over 1,400 of our local foster children are boys. They need positive male role models to grow into good men.
- 60% of the children on our waitlist for a CASA are boys
- 13% of our CASA advocate volunteers are men
Our top needs:
  1. Volunteers - Male volunteer advocates ages 21+
  2. Volunteers - Volunteer advocates from under-represented communities: bilingual, LGBTQ, African-American, Hispanic/Latino, Native American, Asian and Pacific Islander.
  3. Funding: Unrestricted - Support current advocacy strategies and long-term youth and CASA matches.
  4. Funding: Program - Allow for expanded recruitment efforts
  5. Volunteers - Female volunteer advocates
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead As the President of the Board at CASA Sacramento, I find this quote from Margaret Mead very profound. Profound in how it relates to the life changing impact a CASA can have to a child in foster care. Profound in how a CASA can help a foster child realize they have the ability to accomplish anything…anything they choose! Research shows the course of a child's life can be changed by one caring adult. That one caring adult in a foster child's life is often their CASA. A CASA volunteer is committed to their youth and will go to great lengths to build a consistent and trustworthy relationship. A CASA is a "connection" that helps a foster child not only achieve their best, but to realize they have the ABILITY to do anything they choose! A CASA is a child's voice in court and is also their advocate for medical needs, in school and in life. You could say a CASA volunteer often moves mountains for a child, helping them see their future and their ability to succeed in life. CASA volunteers ensure that a foster child's rights to stay in their school of origin are upheld. A CASA strives to keep siblings connected and helps to ensure their foster placement is stable and healthy. Meet 12-year-old Kate (name changed). Through no fault of her own, Kate has experienced five placement changes in the past year and now lives in a group home. The various adults involved in Kate's case decided she would need to move schools, although Kate desperately wanted to remain at the school where she was currently attending. This school had been one of the few "constants" in her life the past year and where she had friends, a support network and caring teachers. Kate's CASA helped her consider the options of what it would be like to change schools. They made a list of pros and cons. Together, Kate and her CASA came to the conclusion that keeping Kate at her current school was the BEST place for her to be. As Kate's education rights holder, her CASA did not sign the school transfer authorization and presented their research in court. The CASA was successful in advocating for Kate to remain at her school! Now, imagine the flipside. Without a caring adult, such as a CASA, a child is at much greater risk of dropping out of school and potentially falling prey to violence, committing crimes or abusing substances. Kate's story would likely have been very different and it is possible she would not be doing as well today if she had moved schools. I'm proud and honored to be leading CASA Sacramento, along with a strong team of dedicated Board Members. We are grateful for the opportunity to lead this organization and to make a positive difference in the lives of Sacramento's foster children. You too can make a difference! Your donation today will help CASA place the 90 children currently on our wait list with an Advocate of their very own. Your support will allow a CASA volunteer to be that voice influencing a foster child's successful future…and helping them realize they have the ability to accomplish anything! Thank you for making a difference, Tracy Simmons, Board President