Monday, March 02, 2015
Court Appointed Special Advocates
A national organization of volunteers that
judges appoint to speak for the safety and well-
being of abused and neglected children.
In 2013 our program represented over 502 abused children in the eight counties we serve.
Become a Volunteer.
Make a difference in the life of an abused child.
What does it mean to be a CASA volunteer?
Becoming a CASA volunteer is an investment of time, energy and heart.
But as many volunteers have said of the children they worked with:
"It wasn't about what I gave them, it was what they showed me."
How much time does it take to be a CASA volunteer?
All volunteers must complete a 30-hour pre-service training.
The time commitment to a case varies depending upon the stage of the case.
Volunteers sometimes say there is a greater amount of work in the beginning of the case,
when they are conducting their initial research. On average,
you can expect to spend approximately 10 hours a month on a case.
Do I need to make a long term commitment to the program?
You are asked to dedicate yourself to a case until it closed.
The average case lasts about a year and a half. We ask you commit to seeing your case to closure.
Do I need any special skills or meet any requirements?
No special background or education is needed to become a CASA volunteer.
We encourage people from all cultures and professions, and all ethnic and educational backgrounds.
Once accepted into the program, you will receive all necessary
training in courtroom procedures, social services, the juvenile system and he special needs
of abused and neglected children.
-Be 21 years old
-Be willing to complete a necessary background checks,
provide references and participate in an interview
-Complete a minimum of 30 hours of pre-service training
-Be available for court appearances, with advance notice
-Be willing to commit to the CASA program at least
until your first case is closed
Exactly what does a CASA volunteer do?
CASA volunteers are appointed by judges to advocate for the best interest of
abused and neglected children in court and other settings.
The primary responsibilities of a CASA volunteers are to:
-Gather information: review documents and records, interview the children,
family members and professionals in their lives.
-Document Findings: Provide written reports to the court 10 days prior to scheduled hearings
-Appear in court: Advocate for the child's best interest and provide testimony if necessary
-Explain what is going on: Help the child understand the court proceedings
-"Be the glue" Seek cooperative solutions among individuals and organizations involved
in the children's lives
-Recommend Services: Ensure the children and their parents are receiving
appropriate services and advocate for those that are not immediately available. Bring concern
about the child's health, education, mental health, etc. to the appropriate professionals.
- Monitor case plans and court orders: Check to see that plans are
being followed and mandated review hearings are held
- Keep the court informed: Update the court on developments with agencies and family members
Ensure that appropriate motions are filed on behalf of the child so
the court knows about any changes in the situation.
What sort of support will I receive?
You will be supported every step of the way. You will be appointed to an Advocate Coordinator who will
assist you throughput your case. Additional training will be available for continuing education.
How do I become a CASA volunteer?
Call our CASA office today
Abused children are waiting for you.
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