The Advocate’s Role


Court Appointed Special Advocate Commitment

This is not your ordinary volunteer job. People who give their time to CASA advocacy come from many different walks of life. Some have years of education and professional experience working for children and families, but many have no prior experience. CASAs are business professionals, teachers, secretaries, waiters, doctors, stay-at-home moms & dads, retired people, military service people, etc. Some have themselves grown up in the foster care system and felt the sorrow of having to move from home to home. And some are people who flourished in a warm and loving family, never once imagining that there were children who did not have caring parents.

So what does it take to become a CASA volunteer? First and foremost is a desire to help and a heart for children. Because we work with abused and traumatized children, we try to ensure the safety and well-being of those we serve by extensive screening of our volunteers. In addition to the application, volunteers are interviewed, references are obtained, and background checks are conducted prior to the 30-hour training course. Our volunteers average about 3 hours of service per week on their cases. Once assigned a case, we ask that volunteers commit to the length of a case which averages about 14 months. Our advocates have paid staff supervisors available to help every step of the way and resources readily available to assist.

The role of the CASA is to serve as:

  • An impartial observer, conducting an independent investigation
  • An information gatherer, obtaining all relevant facts about the child
  • A monitor, ensuring that the court’s orders are carried out
  • A reporter, submitting written reports to the court

Requirements:

  • 21 years old
  • No felony convictions

Training:

  • Complete 30 hours of initial training
  • Complete 12 hours annual in-service training

Qualifications:

  • Maintain confidentiality of all client and court information
  • Ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing
  • Ability to respect and relate to people from various backgrounds
  • Desire to advocate for a child and be his/her volunteer voice in court

Commitment:

  • Be available for 3-6 hours a week to dedicate to CASA work
  • Commit to the length of a case (average 15 – 18 months).
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