Over 1.8 million nonprofits and charities for donors, volunteers and funders

2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Court Appointed Special Advocates of Santa Cruz County

Claim This Nonprofit

More Info

Add to Favorites

Share this Nonprofit

Donate

Volunteering Oportunities

Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Administration of Justice, Child Abuse Prevention, Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Crime & Law, Domestic Violence, Protection Against Abuse

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

Programs: Court appointed special advocates of santa cruz county (casa) is a nonprofit organization incorporated in the state of california in 1992. The organization recruits, trains, and supervises advocates appointed by the dependency court to provide a voice for children who have experienced abuse or neglect and are in the foster care system. Casa's volunteers also assist in ensuring that the health, educational, and permanency needs of these children are met. In the fiscal year 2014-2015, casa provided 226 children with a volunteer advocate and trained 86 new volunteers to be advocates. We had 614 visits to the casa house by children with their advocates. We provided 20 "continuing education" workshops or events with our volunteers. Casa is supported primarily through public and private grants and donor contributions.

Community Stories

41 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Heather52

Volunteer

Rating: 5

CASA Santa Cruz is an amazing program. As a volunteer, we get some of the best training I've ever received. The staff are not only supportive, they provide fun things volunteers can do to help CASA and hang out. But of course, the biggest thing is how dedicated everyone involved in this program is to helping the foster youth of our county. Everyone works tirelessly to help these kids out - education, clothing, special needs that come up, help with placement, everything. I've never been so impressed with a non-profit, and I've been involved with many (and even ran one for a few years!)

Lynne Kohn A.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

CASA of Santa Cruz County is remarkable. It is an organization that supports children and their advocates to the fullest - from intensive training at the beginning to continued support in the months/years to follow. I have been with CASA as an advocate for almost 20 years. My "CASA child" is now 31. Children who have been abused/neglected and spend years in different foster care homes need caring volunteers that will be constant in their lives. Consider supporting this wonderful organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been associated with CASA of Santa Cruz County for 15 years. I became an advocate because I wanted to give back to the community in a way that would help children. This was the perfect opportunity. Over the years I have volunteered in the office but my most important role was that of being an advocate for four children in the CPS/Foster Care system. I feel that I made a very positive contribution to their lives. CASA is a wonderful, caring organization that provides training and support to those that want to become an advocate.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer for CASA for about 7 years. They are the most dedicated, passionate non-profit group ever! They run a very professional, well organized agency and it shows in the amount of successful Advocates and foster kids that they team up. The staff is very supportive to their volunteers and they receive that support back from each contributor as well as from the community. They offer a lot of support to their Advocates as well, so they can help their CASA kids in many ways. It is a win-win group!

lynnhawk

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As an advocate and "friend of CASA" for the past 20+ years, and after many volunteer gigs, I would say that CASA is absolutely the best organization I have ever worked with. The work they do is so valuable. Foster kids are the neediest kids in our county and CASA of Santa Cruz Co. does so much for them in order to make their lives as normal as is possible. They throw holiday parties, make sure they get Christmas gifts, birthday gifts and cake, prom dresses, school pictures, soccer shoes, etc. etc. They really make a difference in their lives. They become a friend who listens to them and someone these kids can lean on. I have never felt more rewarded. Watching the grin on the face of a 12 yr. old coloring an Easter egg for the first time did it for me!If you want to work with a group of really caring people, then this is the group for you,

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been an advocate with CASA of Santa Cruz County for 6 years. I absolutely love this organization. They exist simply to make the lives of foster children better and they succeed on a daily basis. There is nothing that compares to seeing a broken child start to heal after being given the support and love they need during a traumatic time in their lives. CASA of S.C. Co. operates in a professional manner and goes to great lengths to make sure the advocates know how much they are appreciated. I highly recommend them!

June4

Donor

Rating: 5

I was in CASA's very first class of advocates in 1993. I learned about CASA when the late Judge Black spoke at my Rotary Club about the organization coming to Santa Cruz County. I had worked with foster kids at Camp Opportunity, but felt I could make an ever bigger impact as an advocate. My first case was a 5-year old girl who loved to go to the park. One day when she wanted to go on the monkey bars but was afraid, I walked with her underneath the bars, and she felt safe. For me, that was symbolic of how I walked with her throughout her years in the foster care system. Over 25 years later, I am still in contact with her.
After the organization was established, I acted as one of CASA's first "Ambassadors," and helped spread out the word to the community. The news about the organization had to start somewhere, and I feel blessed to be a part of that movement. I recently joined CASA's Legacy Society; my gift will help make sure that this much needed organization can continue on.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I learned about CASA when the late Judge Black came to my Rotary Club and announced that the organization was starting in Santa Cruz and volunteers would be needed. The idea that I could make a difference in the life of a child struck a chord in my heart. It seemed like the right time for me, because I didn't have grandchildren yet.

I am proud to say that I was in the first graduating class and it is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done in my life because being among the first advocates was a scary thing, I will continue to help CASA with their important work in every way that I can.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Amidst a sea of stellar local non-profits, CASA of Santa Cruz County stands out personally because it allows me, and many others in our community, to invest time and talent into the most deserving members imaginable: youth who've been victimized by abuse and neglect, taken from their homes through no fault of their own.
After working on behalf of adolescents and teens for most of my career, I made a conscious choice well before retirement that, once my career wound down, I would pursue being trained as a CASA advocate, and be able to serve formally on behalf of a youth in our county whose life has been altered by being part of the dependency care system.
As we age, I firmly believe that many adults indeed forget what it was like to be young. As a society, we cannot afford to lost sight of our obligation to serve the neediest among us. Foster Youth deserved the very best we have to offer. What's within YOU that a young person could benefit from knowing? Expertise, patience, optimism, TIME? In getting to know CASA you will get to know aspects of yourself that may have lain dormant for years or decades. I am proud to serve as an advocate and urge anyone reading this to get to know CASA of Santa Cruz County.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization has been an important part of my life for the last 6 years! I served on its board and most recently as a volunteer advocate for a 4 year old. I feel like I know this organization well and have been so impressed with the important work that it does for children in foster care who have suffered trauma due to abuse and or neglect. I was also greatly impressed by the high functioning board and staff. It is without a doubt a top notch non profit and does a great service for our community.

Maria166

Volunteer

Rating: 1

Hola soy María Virgen estoy interesada en ser voluntaria de esta programa inglés not is perfecto . He trabajado con niños más de 10 años

1 lynda.leigh1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

There is no better organization than CASA Santa Cruz! It's a win-win-win for kiddos who have been removed from their homes due to neglect or abuse, volunteer advocates who spend time with kiddos, and the community which benefits from healthy relationships as a result.
The staff is supportive and caring of kids and advocates. Please consider lending your time and spirit to CASA Santa Cruz.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Read more
2 Terry69

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered with CASA of Santa Cruz County this past year and was deeply impressed with the leadership team and staff. They demonstrated firm accountability, solid business management and focus alongside the obvious passion and care for the children they serve day in and day out. I have volunteered with and served on the board of many non-profits: few exhibit the ability to match their love of the work with such astute business management.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Can't believe the lives this organization changes during such a difficult time of life. ABSOLUTELY LOVE everything they do yo support the children and volunteers.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

CASA of Santa Cruz is a truly amazing organization. We recruit, train and place volunteers to provide hope and stability for children and youth in the foster care system.

1 Cita R.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been involved with a lot of non-profits over the years. Never have I been involved with an organization that has so much integrity and heart. They are thoughtful stewards with donors' time and money. As a volunteer, this is one of the most fulfilling and important things I've ever been able to do. My life is forever changed by the girl I was able to serve.

Florence4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The good that this organization does and the great, caring staff, volunteers and board is immeasurable.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am part of Friends of CASA, an auxiliary of CASA that helps raise funds to specifically help CASA children in the foster care system. CASA is a much needed and valuable asset to our foster youth and to the advocates who selflessly offer their time and care to support these children. The staff, Board of Directors, advocates, Friends, and everyone involved with CASA are dedicated to helping these children through a very difficult time.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I could go on for days about CASA, what it provides these wonderful children and the service to the community.
I have been an advocate for ten years, and my involvement with this organization has truly been the most valuable and rewarding experience of my life. There is no doubt in my mind that the advocates play a major role in the positive outcome of these children's futures. Not only have I learned a great deal about the challenges these children and their families face everyday, but I have also learned to be more objective and not judgmental. My compassionate side has grown enormously. I know I have received more than I have given by having the privilege of knowing these children. CASA has and always will have a very special place in my heart.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am volunteer Advocate for a teen-ager. I can attest that the CASA organization, and the commitment of its volunteers, truly change the lives of children in foster care.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I can't recommend this nonprofit highly enough. I have worked with this organization since its inception and can assure you of the high standards maintained of volunteers and staff, and the loyalty and devotion of our volunteers. Over 200 children currently benefit from the weekly contact with our volunteers, and today, more volunteers than ever before are signing up to work with another child if their child's life situation improves to the point of emancipation.

Gail17

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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