VOLUNTEER

BECOME A CASA

CASA volunteers – Court Appointed Special Advocates – speak up for the best interests of abused and neglected children, helping to turn their word of hurt into one of hope.

 

Nobody longs for a safe and loving family more than a child in foster care. As a court-appointed special advocate (CASA) volunteer, you are empowered by the courts to help make this dream a reality. As a CASA, you will bring positive change to the lives of these vulnerable children who long for a home of their own. And in doing so, you will enrich your life as well.

WHAT DO CASA VOLUNTEERS DO?

Volunteers get to know the child by talking with everyone in that child's life: parents and relatives, foster parents, teachers, medical professionals, attorneys, social workers and others. They use the information they gather to inform judges and others of what the child needs and what will be the best permanent home for them.

WHO CAN BE A CASA?

You do not have to be a lawyer or a social worker to be a CASA. We welcome people from all walks of life. We are simply looking for people who care about children and have common sense. As a volunteer, you will be thoroughly trained and well supported by our professional staff to help you through each case.

 

You must pass a background check, participate in a 30-hour training course and agree to stay with a case until it is closed (a year and a half on average).

DO I NEED TO HAVE ANY SPECIAL SKILLS OR MEET ANY REQUIRMENTS?

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.

Requirements include:

  • 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 pre-service training

  • Be available for court appearances, with advance notice

  • Be willing to commit to the CASA program until your first case is closed

WHAT EXACTLY 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.

  • "Be the glue": Seek cooperative solutions among individuals and organizations involved in the children's lives. As one volunteer said: Be the glue that connects the pieces in a complicated child welfare system.

  • Recommend services: 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. Ensure that appropriate motions are filed on behalf of the child so the court knows about any changes in the child's situation.

  • To begin the volunteer application process or contact us for more information, click here.

 

Interested in helping children but not ready to commit to becoming a volunteer advocate? Contact casa.directorwf@yahoo.com.


 

Learn about other ways to help here.

© 2016 CASA Warren and Forest County. 

Call us:

814-723-4434

Find us: 

207 Second Avenue, Warren PA 16365

  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn