Volunteer with Voices for Children

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Volunteer with Voices for Children: With just 10-15 hours a month, you can transform a foster child's life

San Diego, United StatesSan Diego, United States
Year Founded:
1980
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
Scaling
Budget: 
$1 million - $5 million
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Voices for Children recruits, trains, and supports Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASAs, who work directly with San Diego County’s foster children to ensure their needs are met and that they don’t get lost in the overburdened child welfare system.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if every child had a safe and permanent home?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

The foster care system comprises many committed and passionate professionals. Unfortunately, it is also a system that is overwhelmed and overburdened. Judges may have case loads of 800, Attorney's 200 children, and social workers can have caseloads of 40-50 families. The average amount of time children spend in foster care in San Diego County is 40 months- that's three birthdays spent away from home.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

The children we serve have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment. Many feel very much alone—until they meet their CASA. CASA volunteers devote their attention to one child or a sibling group, closely monitoring each child’s situation and ensuring their needs are met. A CASA is often the only consistent adult presence in a foster child’s life—the one person a child can truly count on who is not paid to oversee their welfare. With just 10-15 hours a month, CASAs help change the trajectory of a child's life. They advocate for the child at school, at home, and in the community.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Christie is a CASA who is often assigned to challenging cases because of her tact and professionalism, she has recently accepted her 12th case. A few of her cases have ended in adoption. She has helped the other prepare for independent, successful lives. One of her case children, James, graduated from high school and enlisted in the U.S. Army after Christie helped get him involved with the Sea Cadet program. James is doing well in the service and is already a leader of his company. Christie also advocated to the Court that two of her case children (brothers Joey and Austin) remain at their same high school all four years and graduate with their classes on time.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Studies show that foster children with CASAs: *Are more likely to be adopted *Are less likely to re-enter the child welfare system *Tent to receive services sooner, longer & more consistently *20% more passed all of their school courses *Are less likely to be expelled *Scored higher on protective factor scales (meaning they have more positive perceptions about the future and can visualize their own futures) *Are more likely to be resilient and rise above the challenges they have faced in their lives
Team

Founding Story

Founded in 1980, Voices for Children, a private, nonprofit organization, has recruited, trained, and supervised thousands of CASAs who advocate for the rights and well-being of the more than 5,000 children who pass through foster care in San Diego County annually. As the only agency in San Diego County designated by the courts to provide CASA volunteers, Voices for Children has a vision called Serve Every Child: to provide a CASA to every foster child who needs one.
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