Court Appointed Special Advocates of Santa Cruz County

Rating: 4.92 stars   36 reviews

Issues:

Location: 813 Freedom Blvd. Watsonville CA 95076 USA

Mission: CASA is a child’s voice in dependency court, providing advocacy, stability, and hope to children who have been abused, neglected, or abandoned.
Results: Since 1992 we have served over 1,500 children in Santa Cruz County. Our volunteers give over 12,750 hours of service each year for our children. In 2010 we completed renovation of our new permanent home in Watsonville. At "CASA's casa" we provide a warm, welcoming, homelike environment where our advocates can meet with their assigned child, play games, complete art projects, or prepare meals in our kitchen.
Target demographics: Children, aged birth to 21 years old, who are in the dependency court and foster care system due to neglect or abuse. In 2010, 52% were male. 57% were Latino, 32% Caucasian, and 8% African American.
Direct beneficiaries per year: In 2014 we provided 218 children with a Volunteer Advocate to lift up their voice.
Geographic areas served: Santa Cruz County, California
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

The staff of CASA of Santa Cruz County are dedicated to the children who are served by them. They are a respectful, professional, talented group of individuals who are responsive to the needs of the community who is served. The CASA house on Freedom Boulevard acts as a warm and loving "home" for the children. The staff plays an integral role in providing this warm, loving and friendly respite for the Advocates and the children. I find that every time I am in the house I walk away with a renewed motivation to continue my volunteer work with CASA.
Gail Levine, Felton, CA

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Best organization I have ever worked with. You really feel you have made a difference in a child's life. I can't say enough!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Court Appointed Special Advocates of Santa Cruz County deserves to be recognized for the outstanding
support of children and families it provides. I have never been involved with such a dedicated, efficient and caring organization that puts kids first. As a retired teacher I saw the benefits firsthand to my students in foster care. As a volunteer I experience the benefits to everyone when children are prioritized.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

CASA is the most professional, dedicated and caring organization I have ever volunteered with. If you believe the children are our future, there is no better way to act on this belief than becoming an advocate for a foster child. When my CASA kiddo, calls out my name and rushes to join me for an afternoon of activity, enrichment and fun, I melt. The joy for both of us is in the connection.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

A great team helping so many children improve their lives and acheive so much.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I have always felt an affinity for young girls and young women who struggle without a strong female presence in their lives. CASA provides the opportunity for me to give as well as to receive. I spend several hours a week with a CASA girl and we are able to talk and to do things that she ordinarily would not be able to do in an open and totally non-judgmental way. We just let the day unfold and follow what comes our way. I like to provide a space for her that is all about HER, what she wants to do and let her make decisions as to how we will spend our day. Recently, my CASA girl told me that she felt that the two of us just got along from the first day we met, and that she remembers every thing that we have done since that day. She tells me that she waits all week long for our Saturdays together. Please consider becoming a CASA. The simple joys are overwhelming.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

tHIS is the most rewarding experience of my life. After retiring as a Travel Agent, I volunteered as an assistant at the local hospital and found that it was more like a job and didn't satisfy my needs as a volunteer. When I was introduced to the advocacy program by a friend I became very interested in working with the children. Having three children of my own grown and gone, and grandchildren living mostly out of state, the tendency to help the youngsters with their needs after being abused and neglected . The training was extensive and I learned so much more to be helpful in guiding me to help . Ongoing training is offered if you have a particular problem with a case. You are supervised by people who have been in the nonprofits for years and are much appreciated by the advocates. I have worked on 4 cases since my swearing in as an advocate (2003) and was recently called back into service for a child I worked with 5 years ago. She is 11 now and is back in the system. We have a new relationship since she is entering her teen years, She seems almost adult and we are working on getting her kid days back. We will see how the court handles this one. I do love the help from the social workers, lawyers, supervisors,the staff at the Casa House, everyone I am contact with are anxious to inform help me support my Casa kid. That is all worth the time and energy spent. Saving the kids are first and foremost the objectives of all my associates in the advocacy program. For that I am appreciative and will continue to service the children.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Likely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Working with foster youth is rewarding for the youth and for you--the volunteer. CASA's training is outstanding and the support continues. I can't imagine doing anything more rewarding or beneficial.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

As a manager with a local social service agency for over 20 years I’m well aware of the many barriers foster children face. When I started thinking about retirement becoming a CASA volunteer was at the top of my list. CASA of Santa Cruz County is a terrific organization with a great staff providing excellent support and training for advocates as well as maintaining strong ties to the local Children’s Protective Services agency and other community agencies.
As a CASA advocate I’ve been the only consistent person in my child’s life for over five years. I’ve had excellent relations with his social workers and other professional staff over the years and am always impressed by how CASA is respected by the courts and how my recommendations have been accepted and made a difference in his life. Vivian Brown, Santa Cruz

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

We know that children are the future of our world. As a CASA, I feel that I can contribute a tiny bit to our collective future. To see small changes in children, a light in their eyes, an understanding of the larger world, a level of trust where there has been little in the past ... this is what keeps me coming back, case after case (4 children in 10 years). Plus, I have learned so much about the legal and social services systems in my county ... a personal educational benefit.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I love being a CASA. It's such a tangible way to make an amazing difference in the lives of kids in my community. Not only do I feel more knowledgeable from all the training I received, I feel like I am actually making a difference in my kid's life!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful?