CASA volunteers are everyday citizens judges appoint to advocate for the safety and well-being of children who have been removed from their homes due to parental abuse and neglect. They stand up for these children and change their lives.
How Much time does it take to be a CASA volunteer? All volunteers must complete 30-hours of initial training. The time commitment to a case varies depending upon the stage of the case. Volunteers sometimes say that there is a greater amount of work in the beginning of the case, when they are conducting their initial research.
How much time commitment does a volunteer need to provide? We ask you to dedicate yourself to a case until it is closed. The average case lasts about a year and a half. On average, you can expect to spend approximately 10 hours a month on a case.
Do I need to have any special skills or meet any requirements? No special background or education is required to become a CASA volunteer. We encourage people from all cultures and professions, and of all ethnic and educational backgrounds. Once accepted into the program, you will receive all necessary training in courtroom procedures, social services, the juvenile justice system and the special needs of abused and neglected children.
- Be 21 years old
- Be willing to complete necessary background checks, provide references and participate in an interview
- Complete a minimum of 30 hours of initial training
- Be available for court appearances, with advance notice
- Be willing to commit to the CASA program until your first case is closed
Exactly what does a CASA volunteer do? CASA volunteers are appointed by judges to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in court and other settings.
The primary responsibilities of a CASA volunteer are to:
- Gather information: Review documents and records, interview the children, family members and professionals in their lives.
- Document Findings: Provide written reports at court hearings.
- Appear in court: Advocate for the child’s best interests and provide testimony when necessary.
- Explain what is going on: Help the child understand the court proceedings.
- Ensure that the children and their family are receiving appropriate services and advocate for those that are not immediately available.
- Bring concerns 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 being held.
- Keep the court informed: Update the court on developments with agencies and family members.
What sort of support will I receive? You will be supported every step of the way. You will have opportunities for continuing education and have access to print and online resources.
How do I become a CASA volunteer? Call the T.E.A.C.H., Inc. office at (530)233-3111 for more information or to set up a orientation today.