CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocate. CASA volunteers are regular citizens like you, appointed by the courts, who have been trained to advocate for abused and neglected children in foster care. Volunteer advocates ensure that the rights and needs of these children are at the forefront of decisions that are being made by judges, lawyers and family members.
How does a child come into foster care?
Children in foster care are removed from the custody of their parents for varying reasons. Child Protective Services(CPS) performs the initial investigation of abuse or neglect. If the investigation substantiates abuse or neglect, the juvenile court and CPS work together to determine if a child should be removed from the home. Other extenuating circumstances do occur; however, CASAs primarily work with children who
have been abused or neglected.
What is the time commitment to be a CASA?
Once a CASA is assigned a case and it is presented, volunteers spend approximately 10 to 15 hours a month. Volunteers choose how they spend time with their youth beyond going to court and speaking with other case workers, parents, foster parents, etc. Volunteers are required to commit at least one year after accepting a case assignment. Ideally, we hope for volunteers to stay with the case until it closes.
Can I work full-time or be a student while being a CASA?
Many of our volunteers work full-time and are students. ‘The minimum age requirement to become a CASA volunteer is twenty-one.
Can I start right away?
Interested persons must first complete the application process. Which includes; phone interview, in-person interview; background screening and invitation to attend and complete the required pre-service training and background screening.
I’m leaving in 10 months, can I still become a CASA?
CASA volunteers are required to commit to a year of service. Ideally, CASAs commit to serve for the duration of their youth’s period in the foster care system.
What is included in the Pre-Service training?
The Pre-Service Training consists of 32 hours of classroom training that includes, the role of Court Appointed Special Advocates and their relationship with the child welfare system, child and family dynamics, an overview of the risks that can lead to abuse or neglect, and an introduction to the laws that govern child welfare.
Change a Child’s Story
Children in foster care who have aCASA volunteer are more likely to succeed in school and adjust to change. And they’re half as likely to re-enter the foster care system later. By getting involved with CASA, you can make all the difference for a child who has experienced abuse or neglect in you community. Get involved, and change a child’s story.