Become a CASA
Make a Difference in the Life of a Child - Volunteer to be a CASA Advocate
A Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) is a trained volunteer community member who is appointed by a judge to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in juvenile court proceedings. These children have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect or abandonment. The CASA volunteer serves as the "eyes and ears of the court," making sure that the needs of each child are met, with the goal of ensuring that these children grow up in a safe, caring environment.
What do Court Appointed Special Advocates do?
- CASA volunteers investigate: seeking a clear and deep understanding of the child's situation
- CASA volunteers plan: working with child welfare professionals to determine what strategies promote the best interests of the child.
- CASA volunteers advocate: reporting to the court what they discover and working within other systems (such as education and health care) to make sure that children receive the services needed to advance their well being.
- CASA volunteers connect: establishing a strong relationship with the child, which is often the only stable connection in a foster child's life. In California, the CASA volunteer is generally assigned to one child or sibling group.
What is required to be a CASA volunteer?
- You must be at least 21 years old.
- You must have the ability to work with children, family members and professionals using concern, tact and basic human relations skills.
- You must respect and be able to relate to people with different values and from various backgrounds (economic, educational, cultural) in a variety of settings.
- You must have no current involvement with juvenile or dependency court.
- You must have the ability to gather and accurately record facts and maintain objectivity.
What time commitment is required?
- You must commit to serve at least one child for twelve months or until a permanent plan for his or her care has been implemented.
- You are expected to see the child on a regular weekly basis, providing consistent adult support until the child is in a safe and permanent setting.
- You must attend a full 30-hour training program prior to court certification.
- You are expected to attend case support and training sessions with other CASA volunteers.
- You are expected to consult at least monthly with your CASA supervisor.
- CASA volunteers spend an average of 12-15 hours each month on their cases.
Interested in Mentoring a Youth Aged 18 to 24 Years Old?
Since January 2012, foster youth are eligible to receive foster care and services until age 21. Many of these youth would like a mentor as they make the difficult transition into adulthood.
Click here for more information.
Interested in Advocating For An Infant or Toddler?
Research shows that when an infant or toddler experiences abuse or neglect at this crucial time in their brain development, it can lead to damage that if left untreated can result in serious lifelong issues including brain damage.
Click here to learn more about our Infant & Toddler Program.