Links

Upcoming Events

  • No Upcoming Events Check Back Later

Become A Volunteer

What is the CASA volunteer’s role?

CASA is an acronym for Court Appointed Special Advocate. CASA volunteers are ordinary citizens. They work alongside attorneys and caseworkers as appointed officers of the court after they have completed training. Each volunteer is assigned a case and gather information about the child and his or her individual needs. CASA volunteers are not attorneys; they do work with the Attorney ad Litem who has been appointed to represent the child’s legal interests. These attorneys appreciate the assistance and information that is provided to them during the course of CASA’s investigation. This data includes:

  • Interviewing parents, relatives, neighbors, friends, DHS caseworker, foster parents, school faculty, doctors, counselors, and law enforcement officers.
  • Documentation of facts and professional opinions that assist in determining the child’s personal needs.
  • Meetings with professional opinions that assist in determining the child’s needs are being appropriately met.
  • Preparing a written report, with recommendations, for the judge.
  • Appearing at court hearings prepared to testify, if necessary.

Can anyone volunteer to be a CASA?

CASA volunteers are ordinary citizens. No special legal background is required. However,volunteers must be at least 21 years old and are screened closely for objectivity, competence, and commitment.

What training does a CASA volunteer receive?

CASA volunteers are required to undergo at least 30 hours of pre-service training before being assigned a case. The pre-service/initial training includes:

  • Roles and responsibilities of a CASA volunteer
  • Juvenile court process
  • The dynamics of human behavior associated with child abuse and neglect
  • Relevant state and federal laws
  • Confidentiality and record keeping practices
  • Advocacy
  • The special needs of the children served, differences in cultural and socioeconomic norms, values, and heritage
  • Identification of personal and institutional bias or discrimination as it relates to the children and families being served

 

The initial training includes an opportunity for each volunteer to visit the court while it is in session to observe proceedings. The CASA volunteer is required to complete at least 10 hours of in-service training per year thereafter.

How much time does it require?

Each case is different. A CASA volunteer usually spends about 15 hours doing research and conducting interview, prior to the first court appearance. More complicated cases can take longer. Once initiated into the system, volunteers work about 10-15 hours a month.

How long does a CASA volunteer remain involved with a case?

The volunteer continues until the case is permanently resolved. The volunteer should be prepared to commit to serving at least one year on a case. One of the primary benefits of the CASA program is that, unlike other court principals who often rotate cases, the CASA volunteer is a consistent figure in the proceedings and provides continuity for a child.

What children are assigned to CASA volunteers?

Children who are victims of abuse and/or neglect are assigned volunteers. The program is most common in Juvenile and Family Court cases.