Becoming a CASA Volunteer
What is a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA)? A trained volunteer, sworn in and appointed to a specific case by a judge. A CASA is the voice and advocate for children who have been abused and neglected. Working in conjunction with case professionals and attorneys, a CASA works as a child advocate volunteer for the best interest of a child.
CASA volunteer experiences include meeting with the child at least monthly and attending regular Child/Family Team meetings with case professionals, parents, and/or foster parents. A CASA will meet with teachers, daycare providers, health providers, and other service providers as needed. At least every six months, a CASA will write a court report with recommendations to the court for the child(ren)'s best interest. A CASA will also attend periodic court hearings.
So how can you start as a child advocate volunteer? Become a CASA by meeting the requirements of the role, completing CASA training and committing ample time.
What does a CASA volunteer do?
• Meet with the child on a consistent basis, a minimum of one time per month.
• Attend meetings with case professionals, parents and/or foster parents.
• Establish and maintain contact with schools, therapists, medical professionals, and other professionals involved in the child’s life.
• Monitor court-ordered services to ensure effectiveness, and advocate for additional services as needed.
• Document observations, facts, and circumstances of the child’s situation in a written court report including recommendations for placement, services, and permanency.
• Maintain complete records of contacts, hours, and mileage.
• Attend court hearings.
What is CASA Training?
• Complete 33 hours of pre-service training and 3 hours of court observation.
• Complete 12 hours of continuing education training annually.
What is the CASA volunteer time commitment?
• Able to commit to a minimum of 2 years.
• Willing to donate 8 to 10 hours per month.
• Able to commit to training hours as noted above.
• Attend court hearings or arrange for supervisor attendance.
How to be a good CASA:
• Maintain objectivity and professionalism in dealing with the child and all other parties involved.
• Ability to maintain confidentiality.
• Possess excellent verbal and written communication skills.
• Must be at least 21 years of age.
• Must pass a background check, have a valid driver’s license/identification, valid phone number, and have a permanent address.
Are you ready to make a difference?
and positively impact children’s lives—start by completing the information below. A CASA team member from your local area will be in touch with you shortly on the next steps to becoming a volunteer. In advance, thank you for your interest.