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Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)

Onondaga CASA is a program that connects community volunteers, known as Court Appointed Special Advocates (or CASAs), with neglected and abused foster children.  

Foster kids are often deprived of a “normal” childhood and lack a strong parental figure who can advocate for their best interests. So CASAs step in to be that advocate. After being appointed by a Family Court judge, CASA volunteers communicate with each child’s biological parents, foster parents, doctor, counselor and anyone else that plays a role in the child’s life. But most importantly- we listen to the children

CASAs are dedicated to advocating for each child’s best interests, both in and outside of the courtroom. When not in Family Court, CASAs may be found spending quality one-on-one time with kiddos, encouraging and finding resources for parents or checking on a child’s school progress and advocating for extra support (if needed).

In short, Onondaga CASA connects with and advocates for our community’s most vulnerable children. For many of the kids we serve, their CASA is the only stable adult presence in their life. As former foster youth Ashley put it: “I trusted my CASA volunteer. She was the only person whose face I recognized after every move.”  


Each year, more than 300 children live in foster care in Onondaga County. This is far more than our current volunteer team can support. AccessCNY wants to grow the number of children served by the program, but we can’t do it without the help of community members like you!

We are looking for volunteers who are: 

  • At least 21 years of age
  • Willing to provide references and participate in an interview 
  • Able to complete the 30-hour pre-service training 
  • Willing to stay with the program for the duration of the child’s case (minimum of 1 year) 

Onondaga CASA is committed to building a diverse volunteer team that is representative of the Central New York community. We strongly encourage interested BIPOC individuals to apply.

Make a difference for a foster child today:

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