What does a CASA volunteer do?
A CASA Advocate spends time with his or her child each week, offering friendship and emotional support while helping the child build trust and self-esteem. When the Court appoints a CASA volunteer to work with a child, these weekly visits are just the beginning.
The primary role of a Court Appointed Special Advocate is to:
- Investigate the needs of the child by reading the child’s entire welfare file, connecting with teachers, foster parents, social workers, doctors, mental health professionals, relatives, parents, attorneys– everyone involved in the child’s life throughout the case.
- Facilitate social services and community resources to meet the needs of the child.
- Advocate for the child’s needs to be met promptly and thoroughly. Write thorough, accurate court reports.
- Monitor to ensure team members follow though on meeting the child’s needs.
- Be a trusted support for the child. In the sea of ever-changing faces, the CASA volunteer is the one person the child knows will keep coming back – each and every week. Volunteers take children to the beach, to the library, the park and just spend time getting to know the child and understanding the child’s hopes, fears and dreams.
No other program combines regular mentoring and preventive services with the comprehensive advocacy that influences decisions directly affecting the child’s future.
Who are CASA’s volunteers?
CASA volunteers come from all walks of life and are truly some our community’s most impressive adults. More than half are employed, 12% are students, 18% are retired. Many have children of their own. The majority of volunteers are between 40 and 60 years old but our current volunteers range in age from 21 to 82. See our page of frequently asked questions by potential CASA volunteers.
Requirements for becoming a Court Appointed Special Advocate:
An applicant must:
- Be at least 21 years of age
- Commit to seeing the child 2-4 hours a week for up to two years. Every child’s case varies in length and at times a case may require additional hours of the Advocate’s time.
- Have no felony convictions
- Have no DWI or DUI within the last 7 years
- Not abuse alcohol or any other substance within the last 7 years.
- Not use illegal drugs
- Have a valid driver’s license and car insurance, if applicant drives
- Not be on probation
- Not have any serious physical or mental health concerns that could affect applicant’s ability to volunteer.