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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Last fiscal year, CASA Sacramento's court appointed special advocate volunteers (CASAs) provided nearly 15,000 hours of service to 264 of the most at-risk foster youth in Sacramento County. CASAs are mentors, but they also hold a legal standing which allows them to speak up on behalf of their youth in the juvenile court system. They provide their foster youth with friendship, advocacy, consistency and stability during their stay in foster care. Utilizing volunteers leverages the impacts of our paid staff - one case supervisor supports up to 40 CASAs who in turn serve up to 60 children. The value of last year's volunteer hours is $370,946.22 (at the current "value of volunteer time" rate of $26.34/hour). Research shows just one caring adult can change the course of a child's life. For many abused children, a CASA volunteer is the only constant adult presence in their lives.

A foster youth with a CASA advocate is more likely to:
- be adopted
- stay connected to siblings
- complete high school and attend college
- resist drugs and violence
Program Successes
There are nearly 3,000 youth in foster care in Sacramento County. Our County has the largest foster care population throughout ALL of Northern California. The county social workers and the children's attorneys carry massive caseloads, allowing them to spend just a few hours every six months with a youth. This leads to our community's most at-risk kids receiving inadequate services and falling through the cracks.

That's where CASA Sacramento steps in. 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. Since 1991, CASA Sacramento has been recruiting, training, and supporting community volunteers to empower abused children and give them a chance for a brighter future. CASA volunteers are powerful, effective and caring individuals. They play a crucial role in a child's life by monitoring their case and reporting findings to the court. This helps to ensure better, more informed decisions are made regarding the life of a child.

All youth matched with a CASA volunteer have a friend and advocate working to ensure their hope for a positive future. In some cases, this meant returning to their parents once their safety is assured. In others, it meant a successful transition to adulthood as a youth turned 18. Regardless, CASA Sacramento and our volunteer advocates are focused on the same goal - to give each child a chance at happiness and the stability they need to thrive!
Sacramento CASA's Making Memories Program provides funding for the little extras so that foster youth can experience activities such as summer camps, school pictures, after school sports, music lessons, senior prom, field trips and more - opportunities they may have otherwise missed. In 2015, Making Memories funded 57 foster youth with over $8,500 in assistance. For each approved request, we send a feedback form asking the foster youth to complete. This form helps CASA staff measure the success of the program by hearing from those benefiting from the Making Memories funds themselves. We know Making Memories is successful when we hear kids talk about the confidence that they build, the fun that they had, the opportunities they were given, and the memories they made!
Program Successes
Far too often foster children miss out of extracurricular activities such as summer camp, field trips, music lessons, school pictures etc. While foster parents get aid to reimburse them for expenses, payments provide a basic standard of living - and not much else. Making Memories is a program that matches private donations with specific foster children to sponsor an item, an activity or an event! One person can't save the world, but you can make it a little better for a foster child.