When home is no longer safe for a child, and the child must enter the foster care system, a judge may appoint a committed volunteer called a CASA or Court Appointed Special Advocate®. The CASA volunteer’s focus is on advocating for the best interest of that foster child. CASA volunteers do this by providing individualized attention through monthly visits to their foster youth and relevant parties, documenting information concerning the child’s best interest, and submitting their independent report to the court to assist the judge ruling over the case.
- Meet with the child on a consistent basis. Assess best interests and understand the child’s wishes.
- Attend family team meetings, meet with professionals in the child’s life, review documents and records to maintain awareness and gather information about the child.
- Monitor the services that are in place and recommend services as needed.
- Document the facts and circumstances of the child’s situation in a written court report including recommendations and the child’s wishes.
- Maintain complete records of contacts, hours, and mileage.
- Attend court hearings.
To be a CASA, you must:
- Be able to commit to a minimum of 2 years.
- Willing to donate 8 to 10 hours per month.
- Be able to commit to training hours as noted above.
- Be available for court hearings.
- Be able to maintain objectivity and professionalism dealing with the child and all other parties involved.
- Ability to maintain confidentiality.
- Possess excellent verbal and written communication skills.
- Possess a working knowledge of Microsoft Word or other word processing application.
- Must be at least 21 years of age.
- Must pass a background check, have a valid driver’s license, valid phone number, and a permanent address.
- Be able to pay a $5 application fee.
We provide 30 hours of pre-service training and 12 hours of continuing education training annually.