A Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) is a trained community member who is appointed by a judge to advocate for the best interests of an abused or neglected child in juvenile court proceedings. The CASA client gathers information about the child’s situation, attends court proceedings, and makes a recommendation to the judge. The judge will in turn make a decision about the child’s future. The CASA case worker advocates for the child to be placed in a safe, permanent home as quickly as possible.
The CASA volunteer must sincerely care for the well-being of children. He or she must be at least 21 years of age. A criminal background check must be passed. Good verbal and written communication skills are essential. A volunteer needs to be objective and non-judgmental. One must be available to attend all court hearings. Finally, the volunteer must be committed to the CASA program for at least one year or until the case is resolved.
HOW TO BECOME A CASA VOLUNTEER
One must complete an application and include four personal/professional references. A criminal background check is mandatory for all volunteers. The volunteer will be interviewed by a CASA staff member. If approved, 40 hours of training must be completed. All CASA volunteers are then sworn in by a judge.