CASA of Santa Cruz
Civic group
CASA of Santa Cruz

Our vision is that all children are nurtured in the hearts and homes of safe and loving families.

Years active: 28

Their story: For many children in the foster care system, a consistent adult in their life is a rare thing. To help give a voice to these children, many of whom have been severely abused, neglected and abandoned, CASA trains and supervises volunteers to serve as mentors and advocates. Short for Court Appointed Special Advocates, the organization has trained more than 1,500 advocates and works with over 2,000 children. They work with CPS, foster care groups and other local organizations to provide an advocate for children and youth, ranging from infants to age 21.

Fundraising focus: Each year in Santa Cruz County, hundreds of children and youth enter the foster care system. Trained, volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) provide these kids with support through this difficult journey, with an emphasis on ensuring that their voices are heard in court. The lion’s share of CASA’s funding — almost 75% — comes from community donations and fundraising events, like the annual For the Love of Children Luncheon slated for Feb. 10. Pumping more money into CASA's coffers is key if the group is going to meet its goals outlined in its 2020-2024 strategic plan, which calls for bolstering the number of children served and volunteers recruited by at least 5% a year. Another goal is to decrease the time it takes to assign volunteer advocates to children within 30 days or less.

Lynn Petrovic
Executive director

Before joining CASA in 2018, Lynne served as Director of Aspiranet, an organization that secures permanent, loving, adoptive families for youth in foster care in Monterey County. Lynne assumed the CASA leadership with a wealth of non-profit experience including developing and implementing services for children in foster care.

It’s about making sure they have a consistent adult in their lives .. and making sure they have the tools they need to be caring adults.

— Lynn