YOU CAN BE A POWERFUL VOICE IN A CHILD’S LIFE!
The goal of CASA is to protect and ensure each child’s right to a safe, permanent home. These children have come into the Court system as the victims of abuse, neglect and/or abandonment. Their caretakers have been unable to keep them safe, so social services and the legal systems have entered their lives. The CASA volunteer is a sworn officer of the court whose job is to provide the court with an independent assessment of the circumstances of the child. The CASA’s report is drawn from their evaluation of information they gather from key parties in the child’s life. The CASA makes recommendations to the court about what is in the child’s best interest. In addition, the CASA attends all court hearings pertaining to the child. With the support of the Program staff, they advocate for the best interest of the child in the proceedings.
A CASA VOLUNTEER HAS MANY ROLES:
to support the child throughout the court proceedings
to establish a relationship with the child to better understand his or her particular needs and desires
to communicate the child’s needs and explore potential resources which will facilitate early family reunification or alternative permanency planning
to provide continuous attention to the child’s situation to ensure that the court’s plans for the child are being implemented
In addition to these responsibilities, the CASA speaks with his/her child regularly. This one-on-one contact promotes a trusting relationship for the child who sometimes has no other consistent relationship during the period of involvement with the Court.
To be a CASA volunteer, you must:
Be 21 years of age or older
Have communication skills to interview children, parents, foster parents, agency representatives, and others knowledgable about the child’s situation.
Commit to 8-10 hours a month to a child
Guidelines Require That All Advocates:
Complete and submit the volunteer application along with all required references
Submit to a thorough background check.
Complete approximately 37 hours of mandatory pre-service training and 12 hours of continuing education annually
A CASA volunteer must show a willingness to:
Commit to at least 12 months of service
Adhere to agency approved report writing criteria
Travel locally and use own transportation
Complete mandatory monthly reports on the status of case/hours volunteered, etc.
Be supervised by CASA staff