What Does CASA Do?
CASA volunteers serve as non-legal parties to child abuse and neglect cases in our county court system. CASA volunteers are appointed by the Judge to advocate for a child’s best interests and stay with each case until it closes and the child is in a safe, permanent home. Case issues include, but are not limited to, physical child abuse, domestic violence, drug or substance use, neglect, inability to protect, sexual assault, human/sex trafficking, and more.
Volunteers research case records and speak to everyone involved in a child's life, including their family members, teacher, doctor, lawyer, social worker and others. Their third-party evaluations are based on facts, evidence and testimonies. Advocates also discuss the child’s preference for placement and any needs they may have, and then prepare a written report for the court. CASA Reports give a better insight into a child’s wants and needs and include the volunteer’s opinion on the child’s best interest regarding placement, opportunities, and any concerns.
Will I get any training?
Absolutely - being a CASA is an incredibly important role that can be challenging, so we want to make sure you feel prepared. Our volunteers complete an initial 30-hour training before being appointed to a case. We also ask volunteers to complete a minimum of 12 continuing education credits each year. We hold monthly Volunteer Meetings that can help you fulfill continuing education requirements and connect with other volunteers. Our program staff also stays in contact with you to answer any questions you might have and to support you in your role.
What is the time commitment?
After initial training, the average commitment per month is 6-10 hours. We ask advocates to commit to a case until closure - cases typically last one to two years.
Do I actually have to talk in court?
Maybe. Volunteers provide a written report for the Judge. Sometimes the Judge may ask a clarifying question or ask if you have any additional information, but it is rare for a CASA to testify. No matter what happens, our program staff is here to support you.
Are there any qualifications?
Must be at least 21 years of age, be able to pass a background check, have a valid driver’s license/identification, a valid phone number and email address, and a permanent address. Must also maintain confidentiality, commit to donating 6-10 hours per month, be objective, have a heart for helping children, and possess effective and appropriate communication skills.
How do I sign up!?
Complete the inquiry form below, email us, or give us a call! We will be in touch within the next few days to tell you more about our program, answer any questions you might have, and/or set-up an interview and let you know when our next training will begin.